1. How do I become a Host Friend?
It's simple. To start the process, an online profile (application) must be completed. The profile asks for general information in addition to preferences, attributes, characteristics, common interests, hobbies, likes, dislikes, etc. of which are all reviewed and considered in the matching process. Also part of the acceptance process is a phone interview, background check, and two reference checks. After the online profile has been submitted, the Community Outreach Coordinator will contact you for the next steps.
You can apply to the Host Friend Program here:
2. Do I have to be married or have children to host an international student?
Host friends may be single, married, domestic partners, retired, or families with children. Host friends live in the Eau Claire community and are volunteers. Hosts are not current traditional UW - Eau Claire students.
3. Do students stay with their Host Freind(s) the entire time they are in Eau Claire?
No. The required homestay is typically 2-4 days and is the weekend before international student orientation week.To review semester homestay dates, please refer to the Host Friend website. After the homestay weekend, it is the responsibility of the student and host to stay in contact with one another. It is highly encouraged to maintain contact at least once a month.
4. What if we have a vacation planned while our international student is here?
Once the students have settled into their life in Eau Claire they generally become pretty independent. We encourage hosts and students to maintain contact at least once per month during the student's first semester at UW-Eau Claire, but you should continue to go about your life as you normally would, including vacations.
5. Can we host more than one student at a time?
Yes! Some Host Friends host two or more students at once. Many who have continuing students will host additional new students in subsequent semesters.
6. Can I request a student from a particular geographic region?
Yes. The Center for International Education encourages interaction between host and students of all cultures. However, if there is a particular region you have a connection to we will try to match you with a student from that region.
7. Do I have to provide a separate room for my student during the homestay?No. We do require the student has a place to sleep and still be able to maintain some privacy. If they will be sharing a room with a household member or another student, we require a single gender room.
8. Do I have to pick my student up at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport?
No. Students are required to make their own travel arrangements to Eau Claire. Hosts are asked to meet them when they arrive in Eau Claire, either at the Chippewa Valley Airport or at the Chippewa Valley Airport Service shuttle van terminal.
Chippewa Valley Airport:
Chippewa Valley Airport Service (shuttle van):
Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport:
9. Should I help my student move into the residence halls?
Hosts Friends are expected to bring their student to the UW – Eau Claire campus residence halls on move-in day. Host Friends are not required to help the student move in, but it would be a nice gesture.
10. How long does each student attend UW-Eau Claire and which countries are represented?
International students study at UW-Eau Claire for varying lengths of time. Some students are on a semester or year exchange, and others are degree seeking students who will be in Eau Claire for two or more years. Other students come for the Intensive English Program (IEP) specifically to learn English. The international students at UW-Eau Claire represent over 40 different countries and from regions all around the world.
11. What kind of activities can I do with my student?
The possibilities are endless! You can invite them over for dinner, take them on local trips to places of interest, walk in the neighborhood, shopping, holiday celebrations, attend UW-Eau Claire campus events, and much more! You and your student will choose activities that you can enjoy together.
12. Am I expected to provide housing for my student over academic breaks?
No. Host Friends are not required or obligated to house students after the initial homestay weekend. Select residence halls are open on campus during the holiday and extended breaks that students are welcome to stay at. The Housing office must be contacted well in advance to make arrangements.
Housing & Residence Life: