OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Homestay Host Information

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The OSU Homestay Program is administered through University Housing & Dining Services (UHDS) and is intended to give international students an in-depth cultural experience. As a host you will be providing an amazing living-learning opportunity for an international student. 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 your family. While you are a homestay host, you can rely on UHDS for support in making this the Experience of a Lifetime for both you and the student you are hosting.

OSU Homestay Program Hosts

host family

A Homestay Host is a person or family willing to open their home and share their culture with students from around the world.  Since a students’ culture may be very different from the hosts 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.

Hosts are expected to provide their students with a safe and culturally enriching place to live, conducive to academic success. While many details and expectations are left to the homestay host and student to mutually work out, hosts are expected to provide their student with “the basics,” as they would a member of their own family. Hosts are encouraged to participate in Homestay Program monthly cultural events with students and other families.  Homestay hosts will be provided a daily stipend to cover the additional expense of hosting an international student.

Basic Homestay Amenities:

  • Internet access
  • Private sleeping area with a comfortable adult sized bed, study desk or table and chair, adequate lighting for study and space for the students clothes and personal belongings
  • Necessary bed linens
  • Private study area
  • Access to laundry facilities
  • One cooked meal per day and access to food for additional meals/snacks. Students will have a limited dining plan that will allow them to purchase lunch on campus.
  • Access to kitchen facilities

Length of homestays

Length varies depending on the needs of the student and the host’s preferences. During the application process prospective hosts will be able to indicate the length of homestay they are able to provide as well as other preferences, including gender and age of student.

Weekend Homestay Program

International students living in UHDS facilities are able to have a homestay experience with a local family one weekend between Week 3 and Week 10 of the term. During their weekend homestay, students spend time with a family living in Corvallis or the surrounding area (Corvallis, Philomath, or Albany).  Each family provides a unique experience for the student. Some may choose a typical American weekend of activities around Corvallis, while others choose to take a trip to an Oregon tourist destination. 

On Friday evening, families pick up the student from a location on-campus, and return the student to campus on Sunday afternoon.  All meals during that time are provided by the family.  Families also provide bedding and towels for the student.  Students are expected to interact with their host family and share their culture.  Hosts understand that many students are at OSU to learn English, and will try to help students work on their language skills during the experience.

Families interested in hosting students through the weekend program should fill out the Homestay Host Application.

During the homestay experience

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.  You will receive more information about this during the orientation and training program.

Basic guidelines for daily living

You will need to instruct your student on the following:

  • Bathroom: How to use the shower or bath, especially if you have a shower curtain. Explain the appropriate length of time for showers or baths. Please provide basic toiletries such as hand soap, towels and toilet paper.
  • Bedroom: How often sheets are to be washed and by whom.
  • Laundry: Who does the laundry and how often. Instruct the student on how to operate the washer and dryer if you would like them to do their own laundry.
  • Kitchen: How to use the microwave, stove and refrigerator.
  • Safety Issues: How to lock the door(s), turn lights off when they leave, and how to use the security system if you have one.
  • Schedules: When to take a shower or bath, and what time dinner is.
  • Bus route: Families are required to show the student how to ride the bus to/from school.
  • Bike route: Families are required to show the student where to ride their bicycle safely to/from school and to local shopping, and to explain the local traffic laws related to bicycles on the road.

Conflict resolution

Students as well as families are encouraged to contact our office any time they have a question or concern. We are here to help solve any misunderstandings or problems that may arise. Remember to please speak clearly and slowly, as students are not used to our accents. Writing things down may aid communication. 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 homestay@oregonstate.edu.

We assign home placements based on the information gathered from applications and/or interviews. We hope to match students with host families that will provide an enjoyable learning experience for the student and for the host family. A successful placement takes effort from all involved. Both host family and student must make a good-faith effort to make the host arrangement work.

student in room

However, if the host family or student 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 the student as soon as possible.

Damage

The OSU Homestay program is not responsible for any damages your student may cause. We are here to help mediate between the family and student. Please contact us as soon as you notice any damage. We will work with you to have students pay for damages before they move out, as it is very difficult to recover any damages after such time.

Homestay students

Students come to Oregon State University from a variety of university programs, most predominantly through INTO OSU. This diversity makes it difficult to describe a “typical” student. However you can expect your student to be eager to experience American culture, share in the daily routines of American living, and to be ready to live in your home as a short-term member of your household.

Questions?

If you have questionsabout serving as 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.

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