College of Education and Liberal Arts

The Host Family Program

Our Host Family Program is an integral part of the Intensive English Program. Students are assigned to a local family upon arrival in the United States. By participating in the Host Family Program, students will be surrounded by people who can help with the adjustments of living in the United States, will develop a long lasting friendship with their host families, and will learn about American family life and culture.

There are many rewarding benefits of participating in the Host Family Program including:

  • Acculturation: Students will be surrounded by people who can help with the adjustments of living in a different country.
  • Friendship: Both students and families can develop a long lasting friendship with their host families. Very often students will have a “home away from home” after they have returned to their home country.
  • Exchange of Cultural Knowledge: Both host families and students will have an opportunity to learn about each other’s cultures.
  • Educational experience: Spending time with a host family is part of the international student’s educational experience as they will learn about American life and culture, and most important, they will improve their social language skills by interacting with their families in informal contexts on a regular basis.

Program Description:

Our host families vary from full size families with children to single individuals with or without children.  To assure that the host family provides a safe as well as an educational environment, families are carefully screened first. Families are interviewed to determine whether their expectations for hosting students match the program expectations. Families must complete a questionnaire to have a good student match for them. This service is voluntary and the university will not pay a stipend to host families for their services.

A careful selection will be made to offer the most rewarding experience to both the family and the student.Prior to the student departure, the program will verify family availability and willingness to host a student. We will provide the family with prospective student’s bio and contact information so that the best decision can be made.

The program is not intended to substitute the university housing and students are required to stay at the campus housing (dormitories) during the duration of the program. Prior to departure, students must also complete a family questionnaire so that we can pair them up with the best family.

Pprogram Responsibilities:

  • Screen and select families.
  • Inform families of responsibilities and expectations.
  • Provide hosts and students with program information and guidelines prior to program initiation.
  • Provide an orientation to the family on areas of the student culture that may be the source of conflict.
  • Offer the best match for the family and the participant.
  • Inform the student of their responsibilities.
  • Mediate problems involving homestays if they arise.
  • Be in contact with the families and help build relationship with the students.
  •  Sponsor various activities and events to which participants and hosts are invited (Welcome reception, International Coffee House).

Student Responsibilities:

  • Be respectful at all times.
  • Have an open, cheerful attitude towards the members of the family.
  • Demonstrate an active interest in learning about the culture and customs of the host family.
  • Explain to the host any special needs, wishes, or concerns so that the host can be helpful (allergies to foods, etc.).
  • Observe the host’s guidelines concerning procedures (e.g., laundry, bathing, eating), guidelines, and schedules to the student when student is invited over or for overnight stay. Be willing to help when at the host family home.
  • Offer to pay for entertainment bills and expenses when invited by the family.
  • Pay for expenses for activities not initiated by family.
  • Pay for all expenses when families take the student shopping for personal items (groceries, supplies, snacks) and expenses not initiated by family.
  • Not to smoke or consume alcohol in the house without permission.

Contact the IEP at internationalprograms@tamut.edu