Holiday Host Family FAQ
How are Thanksgiving holiday hosts matched with ONU student guests?
Hosts and students are matched on a rolling first-come, first-serve basis. Matches are also based on the information provided on the Host and Student Application Forms.
Can I host more than one student? Or join with another family to host together?
Absolutely! The application asks how many students you might be willing to accommodate. And if you'd like to join with another family and organize a shared event, that would be fantastic.
How will I know if I am hosting a student guest this Thanksgiving?
After submitting the online Application Form, you will receive an email by Nov. 11 letting you know you have a match. The deadline to sign up is Nov. 10, but we suggest signing up as soon as you can. Our Meet and Greet is Nov. 13 – plenty of time to arrange plans! Please know that submitting the Application Form does not guarantee you a student guest. Matches are made depending on the number of participants who sign up each year.
What is the commitment as a Thanksgiving holiday host?
The host commitment is for the Thanksgiving holiday break only. Hosts are not expected to continue hosting their student guest throughout the year. However, it is our hope that both you and your student guest so enjoy your time together that you will continue to stay in communication with each other. If you are interested in serving as a Winter Break holiday host, signups will begin as soon as the deadline for Thanksgiving Holiday Host is met.
What are my expectations as a Thanksgiving holiday host?
By signing up for the program as a host, International Services and the Office of Multicultural Development ask you to welcome the student guests to your home and share with them your normal Thanksgiving traditions. This does not have to occur on the holiday date. For instance, you might have a tradition of playing flag football on Saturday or attending Wednesday church services.
You will meet your student(s) at the Meet and Greet, but it is also expected that hosts contact their student guests via email or telephone to make plans and arrangements for the Thanksgiving event(s). Student guests also are expected to connect with their hosts. Student guests are usually very flexible about dates and timing.
International Services is not available to provide transportation for student guests.
International Services is not responsible for assisting with making plans and arrangements between hosts and student guests.
Are hosts expected to house their Thanksgiving holiday student guest overnight?
At no point are hosts expected to provide overnight housing for student guests. However, if hosts are able and willing to provide overnight housing during Thanksgiving holiday celebrations, that is a matter for the host and student guest to arrange.
Is it appropriate to bring my student guest to my friend's or family member's Thanksgiving celebration instead of my own?
Yes. If your friend or family member is willing to accommodate your guest, it is absolutely appropriate! Hosts have done this in the past, and the students really enjoy it.
I am not able to provide transportation for my Thanksgiving holiday student guest but would still like to be a host. Is this possible?
Yes. While not required, many hosts offer to provide transportation for their student guest to and from their home. For hosts who are not able to provide transportation for their student guest, International Services will do its best to match them with students who have their own cars. Also, students might be able to carpool, drop each other off at different locations or call a cab. However, students are more likely to partipate if they have fewer steps between your house and themselves.
If your question wasn't answered, contact Omega Hollies, ONU's international services coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-772-1966.
[FAQ adopted from UC San Diego's Holiday Hosting program]