Homestay Camp / Xplore’s all-round American summer language and cultural programme designed for teenagers
For teens who are looking for a little more support, Asheville, North Carolina is where we combine living with a host family with US summer camp. Enjoy organised language classes, activities and excursions with other international students from around the world as well as local Americans.
Why choose Homestay Camp, Asheville?
Located in the soft rolling mountains of western North Carolina, Asheville is home to 85,000 people. Here the relaxed southern US lifestyle blends harmoniously with creative young vibes from Europe.
With scenic trails, waterfalls and lots to do, Asheville is suited to teenagers who are looking for the fun and adventure of an English language immersion trip with organised activities and excursions with other travelling students.
Xplore learners are welcomed into the homes of friendly local host families, whose own children may also attend our day camp for an authentic American camp experience. During the week, you will participate in English classes, local fun and educational activities, such as volunteering, plus full day trips to leisure highlights in the area including theme parks and white-water rafting.
Our 2-week Homestay camp now automatically includes a 2-night stay in Atlanta, where students will visit the Coca-Cola Museum, Georgia Aquarium, the Olympic park, going on a city tour and enjoy some shopping time! The perfect way to end your experience. This can also be added to a 3 or 4 week booking as an optional extra.
“It was the best summer of my life. I will never forget how much fun I had and how much love and kindness people gave me.”
What is included?
Here is a list of the main elements included in the camp, please use our table below for more detail:
- Airport transfers when students arrive / depart at specified times
- Single nationality placement in selected homestay accommodation
- English placement test
- English language classes
- Internationally recognised qualification according to CEFR – Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (A2 to C1)
- Recreational day and evening activity programme
- Excursions (including transfers, lunch and entrance fees)
- Course materials
- Full Board (special diets can be catered for on request)
- 24-hour emergency number and supervision
- Endsleigh Travel Insurance
Every homestay family is personally recruited and selected by Xplore for their passion and desire to share their life and home with an international teenager. Whilst living in homestay accommodation, our visiting teens are fully immersed into American family life and are therefore treated as a part of the family, and not as a guest. Our students may sometimes have their own room or they may share a room with a host family sibling of the same gender and similar age or even with a second international student.
In general, host families will choose only one student to stay, however, sometimes a family expresses their wish of hosting two students. If we place two international learners in the same home, they will be of another nationality, in order to guarantee a full cultural immersion experience.
If you have any special requirements, we will try to accommodate you, please let us know in advance.
During the programme, we combine host family life alongside organised ‘day camp’ from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday which provide English lessons, activities and day trip excursions.
During weekdays, Xplore’s organised camp is full of exciting activities in the community and allows visiting teenagers to experience exactly what local young Americans do in their free time. Activities can include cheering on a professional baseball game, going bowling, sports such as basketball, beach volleyball, soccer and swimming, outlet mall shopping, cinema and lunch, local high school/university visits and much more!
On the weekends and in the evening, students will generally spend time with their host families, enjoying typical American family activities such as game nights, going out to dinner, cooking together, watching a movie, going for a walk, or going out for ice cream.
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We will provide both transfers from and to Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) on both arrival and departure dates.
Our volunteer host families will provide 3 meals per day, many families in Asheville enjoy shopping at the local farmer’s markets and preparing fresh foods as it is a small town with a large focus on local food and businesses.
American families can be diverse in the cuisine that they prepare and eat, and we ask our international teenagers to be open minded about trying new food but also to share their food preferences with their family – perhaps even try teaching their host family how to cook traditional foods from your country.
During the week, when students and host siblings are attending day camp, you will need to bring a packed lunch from home, however 2 lunches per week will be provided by Xplore.
Dietary requirements can be accommodated, we ask for this to be indicated on our application form and is taken into consideration when choosing a host family.
In order to experience America to the fullest, we organise for our visiting teenagers to volunteer within the local community. It is a meaningful and enjoyable experience to volunteer here in the United States of America where nearly all Americans participate in some kind of volunteer service.
We dedicate approximately 2 hours a week to working with different organisations in Asheville, getting to know the community better, and meeting community members. There are always a range of volunteering projects from working with animals and children to veterans and the elderly. In the past, our campers have assisted with local animal shelters, raised money with car wash for a local foundation and helped out at the local Food Bank, an organisation that supplies low-income families with groceries.
Following a comprehensive language assessment at the beginning of the course, our American teachers will determine each student’s English level and place everyone into the appropriate class to your ability. This camp offers Elementary (A2), Intermediate (B1) and Advanced (B2) courses in English.
Typically, English classroom learning time in Asheville is approximately 14 hours per week and our class sizes are small with approximately 12 students of mixed nationality per teacher. Whilst international teens are in English class, our American campers will be taking language lessons too – so that everyone is learning to not only communicate in a range of languages but also an appreciation for other cultures and traditions.
We understand that improving language skills comes from engaging students with interesting debates, topics and teaching methods. Our English classes are very interactive covering both general and local topics, such as education, youth culture, holidays, politics, history, and themes of ‘high school’ with its own characteristics like: school spirit, course offerings and extra-curricular activities. To really bring everyone together, American students will join the English classes once a week for authentic conversation practice.
As part of our weekday camp, we take all our international and American teenagers on a weekly day trip to nearby attractions. These include White Water Rafting, an exhilarating challenge that takes you down class II and III rapids with a qualified instructor on the Nantahala River.
We also make sure to visit Carowinds Theme Park where you can ride roller coasters and play games with new friends as well as visit the water park
A highlight of the programme will always be going tubing, this involves floating down the beautiful Green River in Saluda, North Carolina through beautiful trees and sunshine. The float is 2-3 hours and ends with a picnic. Students have the opportunity to do a rope swing into the river mid-float!
Care and Supervision
During the week, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, all international and American teenagers are with Xplore staff. In the evenings and on weekends, our students are with their host families who have undergone a strict application process including criminal background checks and personal reference checks as well as training from Xplore. Xplore staff are very involved during the entire programme, participating in every activity and are recruited for their love of interacting and leading young learners. Xplore staff can be contacted 24 hours a day, by phone, email or text should there be any problems.
Our camps are available to children from all over the world. In the past, we have hosted students from Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Sweden, Austria and China however we do limit the number of students per country to enable us to guarantee a balanced mix of nationalities in English classes.
Integration and immersion is central to how we operate as an organisation, and by encouraging lots of social interaction between different cultures and creating a diverse international community at camp, it can really develop self-confidence in communicating with others.
Xplore has partnered with Endsleigh Insurance to provide invaluable cover specifically designed for Xplore students.
You will receive a summary of insurance cover after booking, however key benefits include:
As a member of the Advance Payments to Travel Agents (APTA) Guarantee Scheme, underwritten by Evolution Insurance Company Limited, Klub Group Limited complies with the requirements of the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992