The goal of San Diego Coastal Homestays is to provide the finest homestay programs available in California. We believe the best way to achieve this goal is by providing interactive programs, while keeping close personal communication between the host family, group coordinator and International student.
Each year SDCH will be sending multiple hosting teens to visit their new friends in Spain or China, as a way of saying thank you for your hospitality.
We offer an opportunity for both students and host families to get to know someone from another culture, to make new friends, and to make a true, personal contribution to making the world a little bit smaller.
In 1989, the founder, Carol Ouradnik, had a vision of bringing together people of different nationalities and cultures by having them live together under one roof. While working as an area coordinator for several other homestay companies, she quickly realized there were none at that time which truly promoted interaction between students of different cultures in one home while including the hosting teen in the program.
Because of the enriching experience her family had by combining cultures in their home, they soon became deeply involved in the programs. They began to combine cultures on day trips, and were pleased to see how well the students interacted. They began to promote hosting more than one culture in a home to other families. By doing this, walls of prejudice crumbled, many lasting friendships developed and even some marriages were born. At that point, in 1990, (GIFT) Gateway to International Friendship & Travel was born. Amazing programs were provided for more than a thousand foreign students over this 14 year period.
The programs were succesful, however, finding quality volunteer host families became increasingly difficult each year, so in 2004, we decided to close our doors. Sadly, it was just not working any more. Missing the interaction, we decided to simply host students for a local company during this time.
And then- In 2007, due to a request from Spain, after much thought, we realized the objections we previously experienced could be overcome. We entered into a new agreement with our long time Spanish partner, chose a new name “San Diego Coastal Homestays” and developed a new concept, with some major changes. The programs should no longer be all about the foreign students. The host family must be respected, appreciated and included. There should be no out of pocket expenses to host a student, so we offer a stipend to cover meal costs. The American teens should be included, so we include the hosting teen on the full day excursions in our Interactive programs. We also provide airport transfers and daily transportation.
Host families participate in SDCH programs for the cultural experience, a new friendship, and a future Int’l trip for the serious hosting teen. SDCH will be sending several Amerian teens to Spain or China each year, as trips are earned by hosting SDCH Int’l students.
The central focus of our program is to improve the student’s English ability, so our families must speak English as the first and only language spoken in the home. The students want to experience the Southern California life-style, many with a surfing program. We strive to maintain the personal touch by limiting the number of International students accepted in a program.