Tacoma's Museum of Glass and loft apartments down the street

Homestay and Housing Search

The Homestay application deadline for Fall 2023 has passed, but we still have limited space available. If you interested in homestay, please apply ASAP.  

The application and details are lower on the page Homestay Application:

As soon as you receive your visa, follow the steps below.  Homestay cannot be guaranteed until both of these steps are complete.

  1. Follow all New International Student Steps
  2. Provide Arrival Information This confirms your intention to arrive in person.  We do not make homestay assignments until this committment is made

Applications that have note completed these steps will remain on a Wait List and may lose their place in line.

Not looking for homestay? Information and resources to assist with finding local housing are at the bottom of the page.  Scroll down or click the link to jump directly
Looking for information on transportation to tacoma from Seatac airport? Scroll down or click the link to jump to airport transportation.

Living in Tacoma, WA 

Tacoma is a mid-sized city of about 220,000 people and a total area population of about 260,000 when you include the nearby smaller cities of University Place and Fircrest.  TCC sits at an intersection of these three cities.  

It is important to know that Tacoma Community College does not currently have a residence hall or other on-campus housing.  TCC does offer a homestay program that is managed by the International Programs Office.  Students who do not live in homestay either make arrangements with local friends or family or they rent an apartment, home or condominium on their own.

Host family with 2 students

Living With a Host Family

Homestay is an exciting and unique way to learn about American culture and improve English language skills.  It is much more than just renting a room or having a landlord.  As a TCC Homestay student, you will live with one of our local host families who will help you adjust to living in the U.S. They will include you in their family life and provide support that will help you succeed in your studies. All TCC hosts are screened by TCC and receive an orientation and ongoing support from our International Programs Office.   

TCC has hosts from many different backgrounds.  Some have children at home, others do not.  Some host more than one international student.  We have single host parents as well as couples.  TCC hosts represent a wide variety of race, ethnicity, religious practice, age, and even national origin.  Some have been in the U.S. for generations while others are immigrants who were international students themselves.Every host is different so each homestay is a different experience.  We look at your interests and requests and the interests and requests of host families to make the best match possible.  

Homestay placements are quarterly commitments (3 months).  At the end of each quarter, you have the option of staying with your host, changing to a new host, or moving out of homestay entirely.  Many students will live with the same family for their entire time at TCC and form lifelong connections.


Homestay Application Deadlines"

Quarter (Term)

Homestay Application Deadline

Arrival Dates for Airport Pick-up

Fall 2023

August 31, 2023

Sept. 16-17, 2023

Winter 2024

Nov. 30, 2023

Dec. 16-17, 2023

Spring 2024

Feb. 29, 2024

March 23-24, 2024

Summer 2024

May 31, 2024

June 15-16, 2024


Students interested in homestay should apply at the same time as they apply for admission to TCC and should not wait for their visa interview

Students must apply no later than the deadline above for each quarter and must complete their new student registration once they receive their visa before we can make a homestay confirmation. 

TCC Homestay program was on pause during COVID and begam reopening for the 2021-22 school year.  Homestay space is still very limited as we resume operations so it is important for students to plan ahead. We are unlikely to be able to accommodate students who apply late and/or delay in submitting their visa 


Homestay Changes effective for the 2022-23 school year"

To keep up with rising food, utility, and other costs, TCC recently raisedthe monthly homestay rates and the one-time placement fee.  This is the first rate increase in many years.  In addition to these increases, we will offer a shared room option where 2 students would live in the same room, similar to a college residence hall.  Each student sill still have their own bed, desk, storage, etc.  Only hosts with large bedrooms will be able to offer the shared option, so space may be limited.  Students who request shared homestay are not guaranteed a shared room.  If no shared space is available, you will be offered a private room at the normal private rate.

The new rates below are per month and paid directly to the host family.

Complete Homestay, private  room


Complete Homestay, shared room


Partial Homestay, private  room


Partial Homestay, shared room


Additionally, a one-time Homestay Placement Fee of $350 and will be charged to your student account once you accept your host family placement.  It will become part of your student balance along with tuition, insurance, and other college charges.  This charge is seperate from the monthly homestay fee that is paid directly to the host.  TCC charges this fee to cover costs associated with processing the homestay application and securing a host family.  The Homestay Placement fee covers a student's entire time at TCC, even if you change host families or even if you move out temporarily and return to homestay later.


Apply for Homestay

Please follow the link below to access the homestay application

Unfortunately the application does not have a save function and must be completed in one sitting.  Here are some things to prepare ahead of time:

  1. a scan or photo of your passport photo page for ID verification
  2. an introduction photo that we will provide your host family (something fun that shows your personality)
  3. a short (30 seconds or less) introduction video for your host family
  4. a 2-3 paragraph introduction letter for your host family.  You should talk about things like your family, what you plan to study at TCC, what your interests are, what you are excited about, and anything else that comes to mind.
  5. also think about special requests or needs (like dietary restrictions or pet allergies) as we ask about those too

Current Homestay Students: ”

Current students already living in homestay do not need to reapply each quarter.  Students who continue in homestay may need to submit a renewal application for each new school year, however.


2022-23 Homestay Application

After you apply, please review the following resources:

  1. Review and understand the Homestay Handbook
  2. Follow all New International Student Steps
  3. Provide Arrival Information (provide arrival information for airport pick up)
  4. Pay the Placement Fee with tuition (the placement fee is charged to your student account.

TCC begins the matching process following the application deadline for that specific term. This process takes 2-4 weeks

Applying early DOES give you priority in the matching process, but we do not make host family assingments until after you confirm your visa.  Students who already have an approved visa may have priority over students who applied earlier, but do not have a visa yet.  All students will receive their family's profile approximately 2 weeks prior to arrival. 

If you are experiencing a delay in receiving your visa or booking your flight, please make sure to communicate with TCC International Housing before the deadlines.


Please note that while TCC homestay has reopened, the worldwide situation with COVID continues to change. Please be sure to stay up to date with travel requirements. You can find up to date information here: CDC travel requirements
Also note that if you have applied after the deadline for a particular quarter, we may not be able to accommodate you in homestay. It is also important to understand the visa application process in your home country as many U.S. embassies are in limited operations. The wait time in some countries can be many months if you do not already have an appointment. You can find approximate wait times using this U.S. State Department tool: Visa Appointment Wait Times

Not requesting airport pickup?

Please note, if you do not arrive on one of the pre-scheduled arrival days, you must make your own transportation arrangements from the airport.

There are many options available for students who are arriving on a different day or plan to arrange their own transportation. The best options for transportation from the airport are generally ride share such as uber or lyft; although, there are many taxi services as well.  Depending on where you are staying, there may be a shuttle available.  The website for the SeaTac airport has some good information and links to different options:

Not Staying in Homestay?

Apartments and other Housing Resources in Tacoma

Become a Host!

We are always seeking enthusiastic families who would like to host long-term or short-term students. Learn more!

Have questions? Contact International Housing

International Programs
Tacoma Community College
Building 11, 2nd Floor
Phone/Fax: 253-566-5190
Facebook/Instagram: @tacomaccinternational