The University of St. Thomas offers a host family program for new undergraduate international students that pairs students with families in the surrounding community. These relationships provide wonderful opportunities for cross-cultural exchange during the academic year. International students learn about Minnesota and the United States while sharing their own background and culture with their host family.

The program is flexible to accommodate both students and families. There is no set list of commitments. Rather, families and students develop their relationships based on mutual interests. We do ask that all participants, both students and families, agree to make time for the program and contact each other at least once a month.

Activities for families and students could include sharing meals, visiting local attractions, celebrating holidays, discussing different cultures, running errands or even attending a St. Thomas sporting event. The activities will vary depending on the interests of the participants. Families are not expected to provide living accommodations for their student, but may chose to invite the student to visit their home.

Participants, both families and students, complete a short questionnaire before the start of the program. The information is used to pair students and families. Each participant will receive the name, address and brief biography of their student/family before meeting them. Students and families will then be invited to an opening social at the University of St. Thomas to meet each other.

International Student Services provides administrative support for the program, plans three activities for students and families throughout the academic year, helps facilitate the development of student-family relationships, and is available to help with specific issues if the need arises.

If you are interested in participating in this program, please contact International Student Services at the University of St. Thomas, (651) 962-6650, international@stthomas.edu. Staff members will answer your questions and send you more information.