What is Homestay

Skagit Valley College first opened its doors to International visitors in the late 1960ís, but the Homestay Program had started long before that with providing housing in the community to students from other states. Each year we invite more students to our campus, therefore the need for housing also continues to grow. That is when we look to our community for support.

Homestay is an opportunity to open your home and share your family life with an International student. Hosting an International visitor can be a very exciting experience for the host family and student alike. It provides an avenue to facilitate cross-cultural awareness and understanding for visitors outside the United States as well as for the families and communities they live in.

Skagit Valley College takes pride in the fact that we offer guaranteed housing for new incoming International students, whether it is at Campus View Village or through the Homestay Program. Being that there is an age restriction and limited availability at CVV, Homestay becomes the main option for many students.

Students that choose to live in a Homestay are usually looking to continue a family living environment, which would not only provide them with a sense of security in an unfamiliar setting, but also assist them with increasing their English skills.

When matching a student with a family, the Coordinator will take into consideration all aspects of needs and desires of both parties. There could be times when one party may be asked to reconsider or alter such needs to make special accommodations. Once a match has been made, the host will receive information about their student which will include a cultural fact sheet to assist in the arrival of the student. The students will receive a web page that was created by the Coordinator, which provides photos and information about the host family. It is encouraged that both parties make contact prior to the studentsí arrival for a smoother transition into the home.

There is a trial period once the student arrives, but after that time students are required to stay in the assigned Homestay for a minimum of one-quarter. Less there be any issues or concerns, a student could remain with the family for as long as both parties are willing.

The experience of a Homestay is what you make of it. The more you are willing to be open and share some of your time and knowledge, the more that you shall receive. Therefore Homestay is a source of building bridges and creating pathways of cultural understanding and awareness.

© Skagit Valley College 2007

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