The OSU Homestay Program is administered through University Housing & Dining Services (UHDS) and is intended to give international students an in-depth cultural experience with a local family. Whether four weeks or fifty-two, homestays provide fantastic cultural-immersion opportunities in which international students will have experiences unique to the United States, Oregon, Corvallis, and individual families. While you are a homestay student, you can rely on UHDS for support in making this the Experience of a Lifetime for both you and your host family.
Homestay Providers are carefully chosen by the University for their kind and caring personalities. The selection of each family is made after a thorough background check and review of references. Every Homestay Provider participates in an orientation and training program before the international student arrives.
As a student you should recognize that being in a Homestay is a privilege. It is important to understand that the homestay is meant to be a cultural exchange. You are expected to interact with your host family and spend time with them. Your homestay should NOT be treated as just a place to stay. Students are expected to make an effort to communicate and cooperate with their hosts.
Every effort will be made to find a home that is representative of the wide variety of American families and one that supports you while studying at OSU. Since every home is different, every Homestay is a unique environment. A host 'family' may consist of a single woman, a single man, or a couple. Some families will have children, some will not. Some hosts are students. Some work full-time. And some are retired Americans who enjoy sharing their homes with international students. Many Homestay families have pets (dog and/or cat) in the house. Homestay students are expected to live with their hosts as "family members." As such, you may be invited to participate in a variety of family traditions, activities, and outings. You may also be expected to keep your bedroom clean or help with shared tasks like cleaning up after a family meal.
Due to the popularity of the Homestay program, spaces may be limited. You should apply as early as possible for the best chance of receiving a placement.
Length varies depending on the needs of the student and the host’s preferences. Currently, the minimum length of a homestay is four weeks for directly admitted students or one GE term for INTO OSU students. Homestay assignments can be extended at the end of a reservation, if both the host and student agree to the extension and contact the Homestay Program in advance of the reservation end date.
Your placement information will be sent via email as soon as you have been placed with a host family. You will most likely receive your placement information about three weeks prior to your departure. This introduction e-mail will include contact information for your hosts so that you may be in touch before you arrive and make any special arrangements. If we are unable to place you with a host family, we will notify you within two weeks of your departure.
The purpose of students living with host families is to learn about American culture and to practice English. Please participate in family activities and conversations. If you need assistance understanding your homework, please ask your host family when the best time to receive their help is. Speaking clearly and slowly and writing things down may aid communication.
UHDS personnel will be available 24/7 to respond to emergencies and at any other time during the homestay experience to help ensure that it is positive for both the student and the host.
Your host family will instruct you on the following:
OSU Homestay is a smoke-free program. In addition, the OSU campus will be smoke-free starting September 1, 2012.
The legal drinking age in the United States is 21. Students under 21 are not allowed to drink in hosts’ homes or public places. Some hosts allow students over the age of 21 to drink in their homes. Students caught drinking illegally may face serious consequences.
Students as well as families are encouraged to contact the OSU Homestay Program any time they have a question or concern. We are here to help solve any misunderstandings or problems that may arise. If we do not hear from you, we assume that everything is fine. We hope that host families and students have a good experience together. If you have a problem you cannot resolve, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. However, if you or your host family feels there is a conflict in placement, then we ask that University Housing and Dining Services be contacted immediately for conflict resolution. In most cases, communication and misinterpretations caused by language and cultural differences are the common culprits in host family and student difficulties. Should it be an irreconcilable issue, efforts will be made to relocate you as soon as possible.
We assign home placements based on the information gathered from applications and/or interviews. We hope to match you with a host family that will provide an enjoyable learning experience for you and for the host family. A successful placement takes effort from all involved. Both you and your host family need to make a good faith effort so the host will work. Please remember it takes effort for the student and hosting family relationship to work. We ask you and your host family to have realistic expectations. We are here to help you and your host family make the most of your time together. Please feel free to contact us anytime at email@example.com.
OSU Homestay Program is not responsible for any damages to host family property caused by you. You will need to pay for damages before you move out if it is determined you are at fault. We are here to help mediate between you and your host family if needed.
Once a student’s application has been submitted, the student will be part of the OSU Homestay Program until a cancellation form has been submitted. If the student cannot be placed in a homestay, an email will be sent to the student, giving the student the choice to cancel the application or be placed on the Homestay Program waitlist.
Students wishing to cancel their Homestay before the end of their placement will be charged for 30 days of homestay from the date of cancellation submission. Students may stay in the homestay during this time. INTO OSU students must make an appointment with the INTO Housing Coordinator before submitting their cancellation form. Students on the Homestay Program Waitlist may also submit a cancellation form to be removed from the waitlist.
Students who are looking for a short-term (3 day) homestay for the first weekend they arrive are encouraged to contact Crossroads International and visit their website at http://oregonstate.edu/international/crossroads/
If you have questionsabout living with an OSU Homestay Program host, please fill out our information request form or call 541.737.4771 and an OSU Homestay Program staff member will connect with you to answer your questions.
Melissa and Ari are community members who will be sharing Hanukkah with their two sons (ages 15 and 11) and two daughters (age 4). They are looking for to 2 students to join them to hang out and participate in Hanukkah activities such as making and eating Latkes (Potato pancakes), lighting a menorah, and playing dreidel.
Pets: 1 dog and 3 cats, not in the living space
Time: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Menu: Latkes and dessert
Dress: Casual Dress
Kristi and Douglas and their 15-year-old daughter are looking for 4-6 female students to join them Christmas day (December 25) for gift opening, card and board games, and a tour of their farm.
Time: All day
Menu: Seafood buffet (clam chowder, mussels, crab, etc) with salad, bread, and dessert.
Dress: Casual dress code