The Host Friend Program matches you with a local community member to provide you with a smoother transition to UW – Eau Claire and American culture. This program is a wonderful opportunity for international students to connect with the Eau Claire community, practice English, make friends, and share your culture! To be matched with a Host Friend, you must submit an online student profile by the deadline.
As a Student, you can expect to:
- Connect with an American individual, couple, or family in your first week on campus
- Learn about the culture of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and America from a local community member
- Participate in adventures beyond the University community
- Teach an American family about your culture
Application Priority Dates:
- Fall semester: Application is due June 30
- Spring semester: Application is due November 30
For more information about signing up for the Host Friend Program, please contact a member of the Host Friend Program team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who are Host Friends?
Host Friends are members of the Eau Claire, Wisconsin, community. They may be single, married, domestic partners, retired, or families with children. They are people who sign up to connect with new international students to introduce you to our community and culture.
How will I be matched?
Students are matched with Host Friends by comparing both the student and Host Friend profiles. The profile attributes, characteristics, common interests, hobbies, likes, and dislikes are considered during the matching process.
When will I know who my Host Friend is?
The Host Friend Program team will start matching after the application deadline. This process can take several weeks. Once the match has been made, and email will be sent to both the student and Host Friend with each other’s contact information so introductions can be made.
When will I meet my Host Friend?
The Center for International Education will host a Welcome Reception during orientation week of each semester. Host Friends and students will be invited to officially meet at that event.
If the Host Friend or Student cannot attend the Welcome Reception, the CIE will work with both groups to ensure they meet.
Will my Host Friends pick me up from the airport?
No, Host Friends are not expected to pick up students from the airport. Please contact our admissions office if you have questions about arriving to campus.
What activities will I do with my Host Friend?
The possibilities are endless! Some activities include:
- Going to the store to purchase miscellaneous dorm and school supplies
- Downtown Eau Claire Farmers Market
- Seeing a movie
- Cooking an American meal together or going to an American style restaurant
- Cooking a traditional meal from your home country for your Host Friend
- Playing American board/card games
- Going grocery shopping
- Walking through upper and lower campus together
Do I live with my Host Friend on holiday breaks?
No, Host Friends are not required to house students after the initial homestay. Residence halls are open on campus during the holiday and extended breaks that are available to students.
Do I have to participate in the host program?
The Host Friend Program is completely optional. It comes highly recommended as this program is a great way to acclimate to American culture and customs prior to the semester as well as practice English with native speakers!