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 home, helping them to get oriented and settled. Homestay families have created many fond memories for the students that they’ve hosted.
This fall 57 students stayed with 45 host families. FFIS surveys the families after their stay. This is what some of them had to say about the student they hosted:
What was the most rewarding part of hosting?
- We met a very nice young man who seemed very comfortable in our home
- We got to meet another great young woman from Taiwan. She was curious and open to everything. It was a pleasure to have her. We always learn something. We also appreciate how anxious student’s parents are about their student’s experience, and it is rewarding to put them more at ease to have “grandparents” here in Eugene.
- The opportunity to interact with our student, both in English and German (her language).
- The joy of helping students in a hard and new time.
- Seeing the students from four different countries become friends and share their hopes and plans for the future.
- Seeing my guest interacting with my kids.
- Our friendship student is a delightful young lady.
- Meeting a delightful young man from France and learning about his culture.
- Meeting our student and getting to know her. She was very polite and gracious. Eager to learn about our culture and people. Very enjoyable to have in our home. Easy to serve food. fit right in.
- Learning more about other cultures and countries through visiting students and introducing them to life here in Eugene – Oregon – USA
- Learning about the student’s home life and their education goals.
- Learning about our student’s family, country, and his plans, aspirations, and fears. He has already been back for a weekend stay and will be joining us for Easter dinner.
- Learning about Iran!
- Helping our student to get acclimated to Eugene and sharing cultural activities with her.
- Knowing that we are helping a student’s transition to life in the US.
- Giving a big hug when the luggage still had not shown up after 4 days! Also helping to problem solve unique challenges. We always learn so much about other cultures when we try to explain our own differences!!
- Getting to know two interesting young scholars. Getting them on bicycles and helping them be independent and settled. Sharing cultural and musical events with them.
- Everything! She is a delight. I feel I helped her be launched into the dorm and making new friends.
- Enjoying meeting a lovely girl from Japan. She was grateful and easy to get to know.
There are usually more students wanting a homestay experience than there are available host families. If you’re not yet a volunteer, but are interested in learning more about the program, read the FAQ page or e-mail FFIS@UOregon.edu.