Host Family Program
Denison is fortunate to be able to offer international students a chance to get to know a family from the local community. The program is voluntary for both host families and international students, therefore it is expected that those who get involved have a genuine interest in getting to know one another.
There is a great deal of evidence to support the claim that students with families make the adjustment to their new culture much more successfully than those students who try to go it alone. Many relationships between host families and international students last long after the student has graduated from Denison.
Local families offer their hospitality for the duration of your stay at Denison, not merely upon arrival. Host families welcome the chance to share in student activities. Several complimentary activities are sponsored by the International Student Services Office, and a welcome dinner for the students and their host families is scheduled at the beginning of orientation in August. In September, host families are invited to join us for Parent's Weekend. In the spring, ISS has a widely anticipated picnic.
The Host Family Program has a long history at Denison and because of this many wonderful relationships have developed beyond the college campus.
Apply for a Host Family as a Denison Student
Denison University sponsors a non-residential Host Family Program that brings together international students with local families. Host families help new international students adjust to their new cultural surroundings. They also provide entrée into the local community and off campus life. In turn, local families are able to expand their own horizons through friendship with a student from another country. Many relationships between host families and international students last long after the student has graduated from Denison.
Local families who are part of this program offer their hospitality to a student throughout his/her time at Denison. While there are different levels of involvement that are agreed upon between student and host family, most host families make a commitment to spend some time with their student during the academic year. Host families do not, however, take on the responsibilities of parents; that is, they are not obliged to have students stay with them for extended periods of time, nor do they provide financial support. Selected residence halls are open throughout the year so there is no obligation to stay in their home.
For international students the program is voluntary. Students requesting host families should have a genuine interest in learning more about family life in the U.S. and developing personal relationships beyond the college campus. The relationship between the student and host family is a reciprocal one. Students requesting host families should be willing to actively participate in activities with their host family throughout the academic year in order to foster these relationships. In appreciation of their hospitality your host family will be invited to take part in a welcome dinner in August and a cookout in the spring. As a participant in this program you are expected to attend these events with your host family. Many of our students find their relationships with their host families to be very rewarding. This program provides a “home” away from home!
If you would like to request a host family, please take a moment to tell us a bit about yourself so that we can match you with a family who has similar interests. The more information you can provide, the better the match! The host families will receive a copy of this form.
Please note: If you can not access or see the online sign-up form linked above, please contact us at ISS@denison.edu.
Apply to Host a Student with your Family
Imagine, for a moment, what it would be like to leave everything you know; your family, friends, country, language, food, etc., to travel to a foreign country to begin your college education. While it is an extraordinary opportunity, it is not one without great sacrifice and challenge.
Denison University offers a non-residential Host Family Program to enable students and families alike to engage in cultural exchange. Our Host Family Program is completely voluntary and is founded on mutual trust between the family and the student. The vast majority of our students are enrolled at Denison for four years and it is our intent that the relationship continue throughout their time at Denison. In our experience, we have seen relationships fly and on occasion, a few that never get off the ground. We ask for patience and understanding in the course of developing your relationship.
Adjusting to life on campus can be quite overwhelming during the first few months. Students may not have time to meet, but it is helpful to check in with them and continue to offer opportunities to connect, be it a casual family meal, a trip to the store, a sporting or musical event at your child's school, etc. Exposure to everyday life in the U.S. is often appreciated—especially time spent in a home and/or a meal off campus!
We count on our host families to contact us with questions and concerns that may arise during the course of the relationship. Clear communication is very important and as you can imagine, miscommunication is not uncommon, especially during the first few months. We hope you will find your participation in this program both educational and rewarding. We look forward to hearing from you!
Please complete the following form if you are interested in participating or would like more information about this program.
If you have questions regarding the Host Family Friendship Program, please do not hesitate to contact us.