1. Who are Host Friends?
Host Friends may be single, married, domestic partners, retired, or have children. Host Friends typically live in the Eau Claire community, are volunteers, and are not current traditional UW-Eau Claire students. All of our Host Friends go through a thorough screening process including an application and interview followed by reference and background checks.
2. How will students be matched with a Host Friend(s)?
Students are matched with host friends by comparing the students' profile with the host friends'
profile. The profile attributes, characteristics, common interests, hobbies, likes, and dislikes are all reviewed and considered in the matching process.This process helps to ensure the best match for the host and student.To apply, students need to submit an online profile. The more information included in the profile, the better the match.
Students can apply here:
3. When will I know who my Host Friend(s) is?
The matching process can take several days to several weeks to assign host and student matches. The Community Outreach Coordinator will start the matching process after the application deadline. Once the host and student has been matched, an e-mail will be sent immediately to both student and host with each other's contact information so introductions can be made and relationships started.
June 30th: Students attending UW-Eau Claire in the fall semester must submit their Host Friend application on or before this date.
November 30th: Students attending UW-Eau Claire in the spring semester fall semester must submit their on or before this date.
*Applications submitted after the deadline will not be accepted.
4. How long do I stay with my Host Friend(s)?
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.
5. Do I live with my Host Friend(s) on holiday or extended breaks (i.e. spring break or summer break)?
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.
6. Will my Host Friend(s) pick me up at the airport when I arrive?
Yes. Your Host Friend(s) will pick you up once you arrive in Eau Claire. Most students arrive through the Chippewa Valley Airport or Chippewa Valley Airport Service (CVAS) shuttle van. However, Host Friend(s) are not required or obligated to pick up students at any location outside of the Eau Claire metro area. The CVAS has a convenient shuttle van that transports passengers to and from the Chippewa Valley Airport and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport several times throughout the day. More airport and CVAS information (including schedules) can be obtained on their websites. More information on arrival is also located in your arrival booklet.
Chippewa Valley Airport:
Chippewa Valley Airport Service (shuttle van):
Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport:
7. What kind of activities will I do with my Host Friend(s)?
The possibilities are endless! You can expect to be invited to dinner, 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 host will choose activities that you can enjoy together.
8. Do I have to participate in the Host Friend Program?
No. The Host Friend program is optional and completely voluntary for both students and hosts. It comes highly recommended, as the Host Friend program is a great way to learn about American culture, practice English with native speakers, create life-long friendships, have fun, and much more! Check what students and host have to say about the program on our website.