University of Washington Alumni Association
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FIUTS Homestay Program
Host an international student with FIUTS (Foundation for International Understanding Through Students), an independent non-profit at the University of Washington. The FIUTS homestay program places new international students and scholars in the homes of volunteer community hosts for their first week in the Northwest. Hosts support students during the transition period and serve as their initial introduction to American culture and life in Seattle. These relationships continue throughout the students' time at the UW and beyond, with many hosts later visiting their past students and their families in their home countries abroad.
Students will attend International Student Orientation while they are with you and will have activities during the day and some evenings. FIUTS homestay students are both undergraduate and graduate students from over 150 countries and across all fields of study. All students are college age, have a high level of English language and are fairly independent. The international students who apply for this program, do so because they want to form a friendship and make a connection with local Americans. Most students will arrive between September 10th through the 15th. All hosts must live within a one hour commute of UW and be interested in welcoming new international visitors. Students do not need their own room.
Practice your language skills, learn to cooking your favorite international dish or introduce your family to a new culture; FIUTS hosts have the opportunity to bring the world to their doorstep! FIUTS hosts have visited students in Iceland, China, Paris and more, attended weddings in Thailand, graduations in Egypt and meet parents and children of past hosted students!
Most importantly, by offering hospitality to international students, Seattle hosts form bonds of friendship that cross borders, foster international goodwill and last a lifetime.
Duties and Responsibilities
The most important responsibly for a homestay host is to make your student/s feel welcome and comfortable and help them adjust to American culture and life in Seattle. You do not need to be available at all times during their stay with you; most of our hosts work full time and students are busy with orientation during the day, but spending time with them in the evenings and weekend would be much appreciated by the students. If your schedule allows, it is great if you can meet your student at the airport when they arrive. Hosts are not expected to pay for their students activities and they are not expected to provide meals to their students.
Time and Commitment
The FIUTS Homestay is designed to last about a week - sometimes less, some more. In general students stay with hosts from 3-10 days, depending on when they move into the residence halls or how long it takes them to find off campus housing. This expectation is expressed clearly to both hosts and students, and FIUTS recommends discussing this timeline with your student ahead of time.
Dates and Locations
New international students are hosted in the home of volunteer hosts. The dates of the program are somewhat flexible and dependent on the chosen arrival dates of new international students. The most popular dates for this year's homestay program will be September 11th through September 22nd OR August 16th through August 21st. FIUTS will also place a small number of homestays at the beginning of winter and spring quarters, during the months of December or March. FIUTS has some flexibility to work around host's schedules.
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A further listing of UW-related volunteer opportunities can be found on the Campaign UW site. For volunteer options outside the university, the United Way of King County site offers a variety of opportunities in many fields.
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