The FFIS Homestay Program matches 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. 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.
This fall 57 students stayed with 45 host families. FFIS surveys the students after their stay. This is what some of them had to say about their host family and the Homestay Program:
What was the most rewarding part of your FFIS Homestay?
- Peaceful air, a great bedroom, and delicious foods,
- They took me to the Oregon Coast, a restaurant, and shopping. It was an exciting time for me.
- My host family was very kind and kept in contact with me.
- They always worried about me and helped me when I needed it.
- They cooked very good dinners. And we have same hobby to watch soccer games. We talked a lot about soccer.
- They are really nice to me.
- My host family was really friendly and hospitable. They helped me a lot in finding a place to stay and getting furniture.
- My host helped me adapt to Eugene and made me feel accepted in the community. She gave me a brief explanation about the city & culture, and acted as a perfect mother for me in the three days I stayed with her.
- My host family treated me as their own family member. They helped me to find an apartment and arrange shopping for my apartment. We cooked wonderful western and Indonesian food together. They brought me to the store with a very affordable price since they know I am a Fulbright student with a limited budget. They gave me some stuff of their own, so I don’t need to buy them for a couple of weeks. They tried very hard in introducing me to be survive as a student in the USA. I am lucky to know them. They are my angels.
- My homestay parents helped me out a lot! Especially after the program ended. They are great people who I cannot thank enough.
- Meeting new people from a different culture.
- I’ve learned how American people live, how nice people are in Eugene, and how to get used to life in the US. It feels like I’m a member of their family.
- I was nervous when I arrived in Eugene. They welcomed me warmly and always cared about me after I moved to the dorm. With their help, I don’t feel lonely. I appreciate FFIS.
- I loved meeting Denise and her family. Everyone was very kind, welcoming and helpful.
- I felt like I never left home. Katie and Bob have just become like family to me. They are my family in Eugene.
- I can experience the real American lifestyle thanks to my kind host family.
- Having dinner with the whole family was the most memorable part. And also I feel like they really care me, because they took me to buy lots of stuff.
- Getting to know good people in Eugene.
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.