F-1 Program FAQ’s

Does Quest work with the J-1 program?

No, all of our programs are F-1, except short-term programs, which may allow students from select countries the opportunity to enter as a tourist.

What Types of Schools does Quest offer?

Public, Private and Boarding schools are available in our F-1 program. All schools including Public require payment of tuition.

Which ages is the F-1 program for?

Quest Exchange accepts students between 14 and 18 ½ years for the middle and high school program. We do offer other types of programs for students younger than 10 and older than 18.

What are the required student qualifications?

Students should be serious, academic students with a minimum of a “C” in all subjects. Students who do not have high academic achievement or proficient English skills, as defined by our minimum English test requirements, will be considered on a case-by-case basis. We encourage partners and parents to carefully screen student applicants to ensure that they are prepared both academically and emotionally.

Which of the English proficiency exams should be taken?

There are four English tests that are currently being accepted by our partner-schools, with some variation depending on the school requirements. The TOEFL or TOEFL Jr. tests are the most standard and widely accepted. Students should expect to take the TOEFL test when applying to one of our prestigious, college preparatory schools. The iTEP Slate or ELTiS exams are accepted at the majority of our partner schools. Please inquire directly with a Quest Exchange staff member to find out the language test requirement of each school selected.

How can our students be ensured acceptance in the school of their choice?

Requirements for admission vary from school to school, and acceptance is solely at the discretion of each school. Admissions decisions for international students are made based on a variety of criteria that may include English proficiency, academic transcripts, and available spaces by grade, by country, and by gender. The Quest staff is very experienced and familiar with each of our partner schools’ criteria, and we provide customized recommendations for each student via our School Recommendation Request Form. While Quest cannot ensure or guarantee acceptance into each student’s top choice, we boast a high success rate of admitting qualified students to schools recommended by our staff.

Are there discounts for students who want to attend multiple years?

Students wishing to extend their program can do so any time during the program year, and will receive a discount for the following year.

What if the student does not maintain a minimum C in all subjects after starting the Quest Program?

Students must maintain a C or above in all of their courses, if they are struggling with the academic component of the program Quest will offer a first level of support from the local coordinator, host family, and partner school. In some cases, students may be placed on academic probation, and a plan will be created to ensure that students are using all available resources at the school to improve performance and raise grades. Quest Exchange offers the Academic Counseling Program, which includes tutoring and academic counseling provided by highly trained counselors.

How do students voice concerns or questions once they have arrived?

Students’ first point of contact is always their Quest Local Coordinator. Students will meet their local coordinator in person at their arrival orientation; we encourage them to bring any questions they may have to this meeting. Students receive a welcome email from their Program Director at Quest Exchange’s National Office, and this person will also be available to address questions or concerns.

What does a Local Coordinator do?

Quest Local Coordinators are trained by Quest Exchange, they recruit and screen host families before students arrive into the US. Coordinators hold arrival orientations and monitor students on a monthly basis, giving support to both students and host families. Local Coordinators live in the community where students are placed and should always be the student’s first line of support.

How does Quest Exchange screen host families?

Quest Local Coordinators carefully recruit and screen host family applicants. All Quest Exchange host families undergo a criminal and sex offender background check prior to acceptance. Host family members are interviewed in person, and home inspections are conducted. Quest adheres to industry best practices when selecting and vetting host families.

How many international students can the family host?

Host families can host more than one international student if they have the time and space to do so. A student may be placed in a home with another international student; we call this a “double placement.” Quest does not typically allow two students from the same country to be permanently hosted by one family, unless this is requested by the natural families or partner to Quest. There are some occasions where two students from the same country might share a host family temporarily because the host family is acting as a “welcome family” to the second student. In these cases, the second student is moved to a permanent family once the placement is finalized.

Can natural parents/ students choose the host family?

Students and/or natural parents cannot request a particular type of host family and must accept all host family placements as described in the host family definitions section of our contract. Quest host families have a sincere interest in sharing American culture and learning about their students’ culture. Host families may be drawn from a range of ages and socio-economic and religious background and may be of many different races and/or ethnic backgrounds includingraces and/or ethnic backgrounds including African American, Asian American, Latin American, Indian American, etc. Natural parents may not discriminate or request a Caucasian family.

Possible host families include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Middle class family with two working parents with or without children
  • Young couple with no children of their own
  • Older couple whose children have grown up and no longer live at home
  • Single individual who has the space and a desire to share their life and culture
  • One or more host parents who were born outside the U.S. but are U.S. citizens and consider themselves American.

Can students live with relatives?

We do allow students to live with relatives, but all host families, including relatives, must undergo our rigorous screening process.

How and when do we receive host family information?

The detailed host family placement document is sent once Quest has screened and approved a host family and all final balances have been paid on the student’s invoice. The placement sheet includes details about the host family, their routines, interests, hobbies, and lifestyle as well as information about transportation availability to school; please note transportation to and from school is not included in the Quest program.

Can students request their own bedroom?

No, students may not request their own bedroom. Students may share a bedroom with a sibling of the same gender and within a reasonably close age to the international student. In some cases, host families have a separate bedroom for the student, but this is not a requirement for a host family to qualify for our program.

Can natural parents accompany their child on the flight to the United States?

We prefer that natural parents not travel with their child to meet the host family. Our program requires mature students who can travel on their own. Host families are put in a very awkward position when faced with natural parents arriving with their student.

Are scholarships available?

We do our best to find scholarship opportunities for students whose parents meet low-income qualifications. Quest has a small pool of schools that sometimes announce a scholarship opportunity for an international student with very specific qualifications. These opportunities will be announced to you as they become available. Quest staff will work with an applicant to prepare the scholarship application if the student qualifies.

Is the cost of transportation to and from school included in the program?

Transportation to and from school is not included and is not the host family’s responsibility. In some cases, students will be required to take a school bus, walk, ride a bike or carpool. For students who wish to pay for private transportation, Quest will help arrange transportation to and from school upon request.

What does the medical insurance cover?

Medical insurance is for emergency illnesses and injuries incurred while living in the United States. It covers visits to doctor offices, clinics, and the emergency room if a student falls ill or is injured. The policy is widely accepted across all states where Quest places students, and host families and Quest Local Coordinators are provided with detailed instructions on how to obtain treatment for students. The plan does not cover routine medical evaluations, physical examinations for the purposes of athletics, vaccinations, or dentist and orthodontist visits.

What if a student is denied the F-1 visa?

In rare cases, students are denied the visa at the US embassy overseas. Depending on the reason for the visa denial, we may require the student to re-apply for the visa. In these cases, we can assist the family and student to prepare for the second interview. If the student is not granted an F-1 visa the second time, we will refund the payments less the non-refundable application deposit.