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Host Family Program

The Homestay Program at Concord University provides an opportunity for American families to learn about other countries and cultures by having an international student stay in their home during university breaks. In turn, the international student benefits by being able to practice English conversation and learn about American culture first hand in the comfortable, friendly environment of an American home.

Have you ever....

  • been alone away from home, and wished for someone to talk to?
  • wanted to know more about another country or culture?
  • wanted to make friends with someone different from you?
  • wished you could do a little to help the cause of peace and understanding?

Then you should consider becoming a friend to an international student. A "friend" can be an individual, a couple, or a family, anyone who would like to know a student from another land and help him or her to understand our American way of life, our language, our customs, and our community.

 

QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS

What kinds of people make good international friends?

  • Single people, couples, people with children, retired people... neither your marital status nor your age is a factor.
  • People who want to share their lives with others...you don't need to fit a "mold" of any kind... if you want to share your life with someone from another culture, you'll make a good friend to an international student.
  • People who have an interest in expanding their horizons...perhaps you are a world traveler or perhaps you have never been outside West Virginia...experience is less important than interest. You'll make a good friend to an international student if you want to be one!

How will I benefit?
You will gain a new level of understanding about yourself and our own country. The process of trying to explain an American holiday or our concepts of freedom or child rearing can help to clarify your own beliefs. Children learn first hand about the peoples and countries they study in school. Best of all, being a friend to international students gives you a window on the world through the medium of friendship -- friendship, which can lead to letters, travel and new horizons.

Can I choose the nationality of the student you assign to me?
On your application you may indicate a preference for a particular country if you wish. We always do our best to meet specified preferences. Our most well represented geographical areas are Asia, Europe and Africa.

What kind of food should I serve?
Almost anything is appropriate because the students are open-minded enough to try new dishes and want to learn about American food. However, it is wise to ask the student before hand if there are any foods that he or she can't eat for health or religious reasons.

How should I act?

  • Be yourself! The students are interested in learning about how Americans live, so do what you always do.
  • Involve children or grandchildren, if you have them; it is often easier for the visitor to relax first with them because of their openness and enthusiasm.
  • Show interest in the student's country, family, customs. They will also enjoy sharing such information with you.

What about religion?
International students come from a variety of religious backgrounds. Many are not Christian. While discussing and sharing information about each other's religious beliefs and practices can be interesting and informative, it is important to respect the student's beliefs. One should not befriend international students for the purpose of changing their religious beliefs.

What about money or financial problems?
As a condition of their admission, all international students at Concord University show full funding for the expenses of their studies and maintenance costs. When unexpected financial problems do arise, the staff of the International Student Office is prepared and trained to assist students in resolving their concerns. You are not expected to provide financial support of any kind.

What do I do if there is a problem I can't solve?
Contact the International Students Office. We're here to help.

How can I get involved?
Contact the International Student Office for an application. Our telephone number is (304) 384-6086. Our email is nellison@concord.edu. After we receive your application, you will be matched with an international student

Last updated on Aug 13, 2012. Originally created on Aug 1, 2012. Report incorrect information.