The new agency, which covers Ohio and Northern Kentucky, will be the third in AHN-USA’s portfolio, joining existing branches in Seattle, WA and Atlanta, Georgia. The Regional Agency Program, which was launched earlier this year, provides regional homestay organisations across the US with resources to develop businesses with local partners, while benefiting from local networks and expertise.
AHN-USA’s services include managing host and student applications, conducting host interviews and homestay matching as well as national background checks.
Glenda Sinclair, President of AHN-USA, said that with over 130 universities, community colleges and private institutions, Ohio is an ideal area for expansion. “With its cluster of universities and colleges, and a diverse set of families that value international affairs, the Ohio and Northern Kentucky region is primed to reap the cultural and economic benefits that come with homestay hosting.”
According to the network, an estimated 20% of international students in the US now desire homestay accommodation, so that they can become immersed in American culture and improve their language skills within a home environment.
An estimated 20% of international students in the US now desire homestay accommodation
The opening of the Ohio/North Kentucky Regional Agency will be followed by a launch in Oregon later this month. By the end of this year, AHN-USA will have six regional agencies, providing over 2,000 student placements in eight states.
The organisation is on track to have 14 in place by the end of 2014.
There are also plans to move into other countries, following the formation of a partnership with the Australian Homestay Network earlier this year; AHN-USA’s Board of Directors has recently approved investments exceeding US$1M to develop technologies which will support global expansion.
Ron Davis, CEO of AHN-USA, told The PIE News: “In year one, we’ve made tremendous strides in establishing ourselves across several major markets as a reliable, consistent, and strong partner for educational institutions, students, student agents, and host families.
“In Ohio/Kentucky, just like all of our regional markets, we will always have a strong, local businessperson run the local business in order to have smart, knowledgeable approach to each new market – utilising best practices, standards and technology that we provide from headquarters.”