Families do not receive payment for hosting foreign exchange students because the act is seen as volunteer work, although a monthly tax deduction is available, notes International Student Exchange. It is illegal for families to receive payment for hosting students due to a mandate from the United States Department of State.
Although families don't receive payment, they do benefit from a new cultural experience, and costs besides food are minimal. Host families also participate in orientations that prepare them for the experience. Furthermore, host students bring some money with them for monthly expenses such as activities and school costs, and they have health insurance that will take care of expenses due to illness.