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Our students arrive as strangers and leave as family

UW – Eau Claire is fortunate to have a large community of international students. Our Host Friend Program connects new international students with community members to promote a positive transition to the Eau Claire community. 

Host Friends provide international students a family-friendly environment that allows students the opportunity to adjust to daily American life and to discover new customs in a safe environment outside of the University community. Students bring and share experiences, customs, and culture from around the world to the Eau Claire community!

Upcoming Welcome Weekend Dates

Spring 2023

Saturday, January 28th - Sunday, January 29th

*Spring 2023 Welcome Weekend dates are after the first week of New International Student Orientation and before the first week of classes. For the Spring 2023 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 should plan to arrive at the University on Monday, January 23rd, in time for New International Student Orientation*

How Do I Join the Host Friend Program?

To join the host friend program, you must submit the application below (one for Host Friends; one for Students). Once that has been received, the Community Outreach Coordinator will send you next steps.

All Host Friends must successfully complete a background check, phone interview, and two reference calls before being admitted to the Host Friend Program.


Application Priority Dates (for Students):
  • Fall semester: Application is due June 30
  • Spring semester: Application is due November 30


Please contact if you are unable to access the application link below:


  • Hosts Apply Here
  • Students Apply Here
  • Contact Us:

    For more information about becoming a Host Friend to an international student, download the Host Friend Program Handbook here THE HANDBOOK or contact the Center for International Education at or by calling (715) 836-4411.

     Current, traditional UWEC students are NOT eligible to become a Host Friend. However, there are plenty of opportunities for students to be involved with UW – Eau Claire’s international student community.

    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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