Grinnell's Host Family Program is a non-residential friendship program. It is a cooperative effort between the OISA and volunteers in the local community. Our goal is to introduce international students to a local family who will befriend them, introduce them to the local community, support their experience here, and enjoy the opportunity for cultural exchange.
Host Families come in all shapes and sizes! We encourage participation regardless of life stage and family type. International Students make up about 13% of our student body at Grinnell - around 180 students from 50+ countries. Most come to Grinnell to complete their undergraduate degree, some are one-year exchange students or language assistants, and we also invite US Americans who have been living abroad to participate.
Program Expectations: The OISA assigns student/family 'matches' in early August. We will help you exchange contact information and arrange your initial opportunity to meet during IPOP. The 'match mailing' includes a Hosting Handbook with tips and guildlines for participation. The next step is for YOU (program participants) to initiate contact and invitations to get together. Families invite students to visit their homes and to explore the local area. Students invite families to campus activities and may consider their host family as a resource for their adjustment to life in the US. We ask families and/or students to initiate at least three activities per semester (some do more, some do less). While in-person contact is preferred, phone and email are also great ways to stay linked. Our hope is that your relationship will grow and last throughout the student's stay in Grinnell.
July 1 (or asap) - Student & Family Applications Due Families will receive info. about your host student by mail, in early August. Students receive info. about your host family upon arrivial in Grinnell.
Mid-August, International Pre-Orientation Program (IPOP) New international students arrive and move into the residence halls for IPOP and students and host families meet soon after!
For more information, contact the OISA (641-269-3703) or one of the
Host Family Volunteer Coordinators: Dixie Hansen, Monica St. Angelo, or Jennifer McAlexander.