About Host Friend Program

Our students arrive as strangers and leave as family

The Host Friend Program matches international students with kindhearted and compassionate individuals and families in the Eau Claire community. Hosts introduce international students to new, unique, and exciting customs, adventures and experiences beyond the university community.

Host introduce international students to the daily American life and experiences they would have been unable to enjoy without a community connection. Hosts provide a weekend homestay to a new international student upon the student's arrival to Eau Claire. Additionally, host friends keep in touch with their student throughout the student's first semester at UWEC. Some students are on a semester or year exchange, and others are degree seeking students.

UW-Eau Claire is lucky to have such a diverse community of international students continually representing over 40 different countries on its campus. We are also very fortunate to have an equally diverse group of Chippewa Valley area community members willing to host an international student.

As a host you can expect to:

  • Pick up students at the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport or Chippewa Valley Airport Service bus terminal
  • Provide a 3-4 day homestay (where the fun starts!)
  • Comfort and support during their first days in Eau Claire
  • Help with periods of transition & cultural adjustment
  • Introduce students to Eau Claire, Wisconsin, & US culture
  • Learn about your student's culture

The Host Friend Program is one of the top reasons why international students choose our internationally esteemed university! The program is highly regarded and enjoyed by international students and hosts. It is also an excellent opportunity to be involved with the university atmosphere, learn about a new culture, and build life-long international friendships!

As a student you can expect to:

  • Be picked up by hosts as you arrive in Eau Claire
  • Stay in a American house for a weekend home stay
  • Learn American and Eau Claire culture first hand
  • Speak English with native speakers
  • Teach an American family about your culture

Hosts and students come from a variety of religious, cultural, and political backgrounds. Sharing viewpoints, opinions, and experiences regarding these matters will likely be one of the most interesting and rewarding aspects of the Host Friend Program.

For more information about the host friend program please visit our Student or Host webpage for more information and to apply. 

If you should have any questions, please contact the Community Outreach Coordinator or Center for International Education at 715-836-4411 or hostfriend@uwec.edu.

We truly hope you find the program a fun and rewarding experience!


How Do I Become a Host Friend?

To join the host friend program, you must submit the application below. Once that has been received, the Community Outreach Coordinator will send you the Hosting Agreement form via email.

The Community Outreach Coordinator will conduct a background check, phone interview, and two reference checks before admitting you to the Host Friend Program.

Download CIE Host Friend Program Handbook

Hosting international students for several years has brought our family unlimited joy. It has also offered us the opportunity to be good ambassadors for our own country. Hosting has encouraged our children to be open minded and eager to learn.

Connie, Host Friend
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