FFIS volunteers have many wonderful experiences with the University of Oregon international students that they meet through the Short-term Homestay Program. Fast friendships are formed during the first few days the students stay with a host family after arriving in Lane County. The interactions usually continue well beyond when the student moves into an apartment or dorm.
FFIS homestay students appreciate the opportunity to have a local family that becomes like a second set of parents while they’re studying at the University. Many search for ways to return the favor to the best of their abilities. It’s a bonus when they can cook meals traditional to their country and culture!
Bill and Suzanne Dassenko have hosted many students over the years. Last fall they hosted two young men. Hooman is a PhD student in architecture from Iran. Filip is a law student from Sweden. The two students got along so well together during the homestay that they became roommates sharing an apartment.
Hooman and Filip preparing dinner for Bill and Suzanne
They invited Bill and Suzanne to a special “thank you” dinner cooked by them at their apartment. They spent most of the day preparing the meal. Hooman and Flip were pleased with the results and so were Bill and Suzanne. There was more than enough food to go around. Hooman later read some passages from Divane Hafez, a special Persian book.
The meal was cooked with heartfelt appreciation for the warmth and kindness that Bill and Suzanne showed them.
Creamy Panna Cota
Swedish potato salad, tomatoes, stuffed peppers, fresh pomegranate & Kuku Sabzi
Table with watermelon, Iranian candies, cider, pomegranate, and the Divine Hafez
Bill and Suzanne’s experience is one of many that FFIS host families have from hosting incoming international students. Each experience is different, but the fellowship and friendships created through this program are common.
If you are interested in possibly becoming a host family for a few days when the international student first arrives, contact UO Liaison Becky Megerssa at firstname.lastname@example.org or complete this online application.