Frequently Asked Questions

If you do not see the answer to your question listed below, please contact Becky Megerssa at

Who is eligible to participate in the Welcome Homestay Program?

The Welcome Homestay Program is open to all new University of Oregon international students, scholars, and their dependents.

How do I apply for a homestay?

Homestay applications are accepted online through the FFIS webpage.

How much does it cost?

There is no cost to participate in the homestay program.

How many days before classes should I arrive?

Please refer to “Homestay Dates and Orientation” for important information on when you need to arrive.

What if I don’t know my exact arrival time yet?

You should still fill out your homestay application and provide an estimated date of arrival. When you confirm your arrival plans to Eugene, please email with complete arrival information.  We cannot place you with an FFIS host until we have your confirmed arrival information.

How does the process of matching students and hosts work?

When we receive your application, we review it and identify potential hosts for you. Students are not necessarily matched in the order in which their applications are received. Matches are based on common interests and requested accommodations. The more you tell us about yourself in your application, the easier it will be to match you with a host that is right for you!

FFIS hosts live in many different locations in Eugene and in a neighboring city, Springfield. Some hosts live close to campus; others do not. Once you have been matched with a host, we cannot accommodate requests to change your homestay to be closer to campus.  Your host will help you with transportation including public bus transportation so you can take care of everything you need to do before school begins.

How will I learn about my host family?

Once a host confirms that they are able to host you, we will notify you of your homestay placement so you can begin corresponding with your FFIS host. Please contact your host right away, before you come to Eugene, to confirm arrival information and ask questions.

We will let you know the status of your homestay application at least one week before your arrival in Eugene; if we are not able to place you with a host, you will be notified prior to arrival.

Can I request to stay with a friend?

No. At this time we are unable to place friends together in the same homestay.

Can my family members stay in the homestay with me?

Your spouse, and/or children are welcome to stay in the homestay with you; please be sure to include their information on your application.

We are NOT able to include students’ parents or other relatives in the homestay.

What is expected of me in a homestay?

It is important to understand that the welcome homestay program is a cultural exchange program, not just a temporary place to stay. You are expected to interact with your FFIS host and spend time with them. If you are not interested in cultural exchange and are just looking for a place to stay, please refer to the city of Eugene website at

What are FFIS hosts like?

Eugene is a diverse place, reflecting American society. FFIS homestay hosts are also diverse and can include families with children, retired folks, gay families, individuals, current UO students, among others. You should be prepared to stay with the host FFIS chooses to place you with.

Will my host be able to pick me up at the airport?

Yes, your FFIS host is expected to pick you up at the Eugene airport, bus or train station, or make other arrangements. Do not expect your host to pick you up at the Portland International Airport. Please be in contact with your FFIS host prior to arrival to confirm arrangements.

What if I am not placed in a homestay?

If FFIS is unable to place you in a homestay, you will need to find alternative housing. Please visit the city of Eugene’s website for a list of hotels in Eugene.

If you have a confirmed on-campus housing, you are eligible for Early Move-in. Students who request Early Move-in will be given priority placement with an FFIS host. Please refer to “Homestay Dates and Orientation” for detailed information on Early Move-in.

Where can I find permanent housing?

On-Campus Housing: You should apply for UO housing as early as possible! Go to
Off-Campus Housing: You should start searching for off-campus housing before you arrive in the U.S. Go to