Donia from Egypt enjoying snowmobiling for her first time
University of Oregon international students don’t know what to expect when they first arrive in Eugene to begin their studies at the University of Oregon. Donia from Turkey and Yohan from France certainly didn’t expect that they’d be riding snowmobiles for their first time just a few days after their plane landed.
This experience is but one of many varied adventures that newly arriving international students enjoy if they’re fortunate enough to be placed with a local FFIS home stay volunteer. The hosts usually become like a second family to the students as they adjust to American culture, foods, and education system. The students may stay with the FFIS volunteer for a week or less, but the memories and friendships will last a lifetime.
Invite a stranger from a foreign country into your home for a few days? There must be some reason why FFIS host families do this for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30+ years? Many host not just one student, but two or more. What do they know that others don’t?
The FFIS Homestay Program matches University of Oregon international students with local community volunteers for a short-term homestay when the student first arrives in Lane County. Volunteers open their hearts and home to young adults far from their home, helping them to get oriented and settled. The friendships built during that brief period often last well beyond when the student has returned to their native country. Homestay families have created many fond memories for the students that they’ve hosted.
To learn more about the FFIS short-term homestay program, visit the FAQ page, send an e-mail to FFIS@UOregon.edu, or complete an online application. The homestay dates for the spring, fall, and winter terms are shown here.