1. How are players placed with homestay families?
    Several factors are considered when finding the right placement for a player and his potential homestay family. The homestay family application process is designed for the Academy’s staff to determine the best fit for both player and family. After an initial application completion, a follow-up phone interview occurs. Next, a background check for all household members 18 years-old and above is mandated and paid for by CITY. A home visit will occur allowing the homestay family and Academy an opportunity to get to know each other, ask questions, and discuss pertinent topics from logistics to living arrangements. The Academy will determine a potential match and facilitate a meeting between the player, the player’s family, and the potential homestay family. The meeting's main purpose is to ensure the fitness and comfort level for all parties involved. Lastly, CITY will finalize agreements and contracts for the player’s family and the homestay family.
  1. Who is expected to undergo a background check?
    All persons 18 years-old and older who live full-time or part-time in the homestay’s residence, regardless of the amount of time that person currently spends in the home, and any individual spending significant amount of time in the home, must go through a background check. This applies to anyone who might live in the residence after the initial placement.
  1. How can my own children benefit from being part of a Homestay family?
    These players have been selected by the Academy's staff from outside the St. Louis region. They are not only outstanding players, but they are expected to conduct themselves with the utmost character and responsibility. The player could be an excellent role model with family members able to closely observe the player’s dedication to training and playing soccer while maintaining appropriate academics and personal interactions. Lastly, the player provides the entire family a close connection to STL CITY SC.
  1. What are the potential ages of the homestay player?
    The Academy selects players between the ages of 14 to 18 years-old to move into the St. Louis region and join the Academy. Most of these players are in high school and will need to attend school (virtual or private) while living with their homestay family.
  1. How long does the player stay with the homestay family?
    The homestay family should expect to house the player for the 10-month MLS Next season, from August to June with a monthlong break in July and winter holiday break from mid-December to early-January.
  1. What are your transportation policies?
    The homestay family will provide transportation for schooling, training, and matches. In many cases, carpool options are available. The Academy may be able to assist carpooling options. If the player has a vehicle and permission to use it, he may drive for school, training, matches and other authorized trips.
  1. Is there compensation for the homestay family?
    The homestay family will receive a monthly $650* stipend. The player requires the same housing, food, transportation, and utility expenses that arise in caring for any teenager. The stipend may not cover all associated expenses, but it supports the homestay family in providing a “home-away-from-home.” It should be noted that homestay families are not responsible for the player's medical, academic, or other incidental expenses. The homestay family will receive the monthly stipend for the 10-month MLS Next season, excluding the months of July and December where homestay players will travel home for the holidays and the off-season. (*1099 Taxable)
  1. Is there a contract or agreement that the Homestay Family is required to sign?
    Yes. The homestay family, the player’s family, and CITY are required to sign an annual agreement that clearly outlines the expectations of all parties involved in the relationship.
  1. Who pays for extracurricular activities for the player?
    The player’s family is responsible for providing money for any extracurricular activities and needs, such as technology devices, educational costs, dining out, entertainment, and non-essential activities. The player’s family is also responsible for routine expenses like school supplies, clothing, haircuts, personal needs, and other incidental supplies.
  1. What school will the player attend?
    Due to jurisdiction restrictions involved with public school enrollments in Missouri and Illinois, the player will be enrolled in a virtual high school program or in-person private school. For the virtual school program, CITY employs an Academic Success Coach who will supervise the player’s schoolwork and academic progress. If scheduling flexibility becomes a necessity, then the virtual school program will be the likely option.
  1. Will these players all speak English?
    Most players will speak English; however, the levels of communication might be limited at first. As part of the application process, families may also indicate their level of comfort in hosting players where language may be a barrier.
  1. Once the player has moved in with the homestay family, what is next?
    The Academy will monitor the relationship with the player, the player’s family, and homestay family. The Academy will conduct periodic check-ins via in-person visits, phone calls and emails, to determine the well-being of the relationship. Everyone is encouraged to offer feedback during these check-ins. The player receives an Academy break in mid-December to early-January and the month of July. By spring, the Academy and the families will decide whether to extend the relationship between the player and homestay family for another year.
  1. What is the homestay family committing to when they agree to host a player?
    The homestay family is committed to providing a “family-away-from-home” for the player they host. Among the player’s academic responsibilities, training, travel, and matches, the player will engage in a rigorous and challenging schedule, meaning a homestay family will be vital to his support and well-being. In doing so, a homestay family will help an individual reach his full potential.
  1. What happens if the homestay family leaves town?
    The Academy will compile a network of “standby” homestay families. Any player will stay with a standby homestay family for the duration of his homestay family’s travel. Standby homestay families have gone through the same application/interview process as homestay families and will support homestay players in the same, familial manner of the player’s homestay family. The Academy asks that homestay families make every effort to inform the Academy of travel plans 1-month prior to the date of departure to provide the Academy the time to make logistical arrangements with standby homestay families.
  1. Will players be expected to join the homestay family for family functions?
    The Academy expects players to make every effort to join the homestay family for family functions, when able and appropriate since the Academy hopes to foster a family-like relationship.
  1. Will the Homestay player spend time with their family in St. Louis?
    Depending on the player’s family’s ability to travel to St. Louis, the Academy anticipates that the player’s family will come to St. Louis to visit. In this case, the player’s family is expected to make their own lodging accommodations and the player will spend this time with their family.
  1. What happens if the player is not a good match for the homestay family?
    It is always a big adjustment for both the homestay family and the player. The Academy will always do their best to work through any situations that may arise and reach a solution that allows all parties to move forward in a positive manner. If the player’s situation is not working in a particular home, the Academy will intervene to transition the player to another homestay family that is more suitable.
  1. Will the Homestay Family be notified about team and player schedules throughout the season?
    Yes. Homestay families are added to all Academy communication and scheduling platforms. Part of the player’s responsibility is to keep the homestay family aware of all Academy events, particularly if last-minute changes occur.
  1. What living space is required for an Academy player?
    Homestay Families must provide the following:
    - a private bedroom that contains a bed, desk, clothes storage (dresser or closet) and a safe egress.
    - access to laundry.
    - access to the internet.
    - a safe, family-friendly environment.
    - the player has access to the homestay family's home (key or access codes).
  1. What are the requirements for feeding an Academy player?
    The homestay family will provide three nutritious meals daily (seven days a week), along with healthy snack options. Nutrition is a very important part of the player's well being. The player will be training four times a week with two or more weight training sessions, and one or two matches each weekend; therefore, the player must have access to the proper food for their health.
  1. What is the expected level of engagement between the player’s parents/guardians?
    The player’s family is expected to stay active and engaged in all aspects of their player’s life. The Academy requires frequent communication between the homestay family and the player’s family to ensure that the player is appropriately cared for and supported.
  1. What is the expected level of “parenting” that a Homestay Family should provide?
    It is expected that the homestay family will treat the player as part of their family and in the same manner as they would interact with their own family members. Players are expected to abide by the homestay family’s household rules and rules set by the Academy.
  1. What support does the Academy offer to homestay families?
    The Academy offers support through our dedicated staff members and provides educational meetings and materials to assist the homestay family with the various aspects of hosting a player.
  1. Where do the players come from?
    Currently, the Academy has players from Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma, Georgia, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Int the future, players may come from anywhere in the United States and in a few instances internationally.