Skip to main content

Student Info Host Friend Program

Learn more

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 culture! To be matched with a Host Friend, you must submit an online student profile by the deadline.

Application Priority Dates:

  • Fall semester: Application is due June 10
  • Spring semester: Application is due November 10

Upcoming Homestay Dates: Spring 2022 Semester

Saturday, January 29th – Sunday, January 30th

*Homestay dates are after the first week of New International Student Orientation and before the first week of classes


For more information about signing up for the Host Friend Program, please contact a member of the Host Friend Program team by emailing or calling (715) 836-4411

Frequently Asked Questions

Host Friends are your hosts and member of the Eau Claire community. They may be single, married, domestic partners, retired, or families with children.

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.

Apply now

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.


The required homestay is 2-3 days and is the weekend before international student orientation week. To review semester homestay dates, please refer to the website. After the homestay weekend, it is the responsibility of the student and host to stay in contact with one another on a monthly basis.

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 students are welcome to stay at. The Housing office must be contacted if a student needs arrangements.

*Fall 2021 Homestay dates (Saturday, August 28th - Sunday, August 29th) are after the first week of New International Student Orientation and before the first week of classes. For the Fall 2021 semester, Host Friends will not be expected or required to pick up students from the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport or the Eau Claire Shuttle. Students can move into residence halls on Monday, August 23rd and should make their own arrangements if arriving before that day.*


Your Host Friend will pick you up once you arrive in Eau Claire. Most students arrive through Chippewa Valley Regional Airport or Chippewa Valley Airport Service (CVAS), a shuttle van at Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport. Host Friends are not required to pick up students at any location outside of the Eau Claire area. CVAS has easy to use shuttle van service that transports passengers to the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport. More information, including schedules, can be found on their websites.

Chippewa Valley Airport

Chippewa Valley Airport Service (shuttle van)

Minneapolis - St. Paul International Airport

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


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!

We want to hear from you

Please enter your name

Please enter a valid email address

Please enter a valid phone number

Please enter a message