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International Student FAQ's

What is Thanksgiving?

Click here for more information on the American holiday.

Who can participate in the Thanksgiving Holiday Host Program?

Any current ONU international student that would like to be invited to a Thanksgiving meal and celebration is welcome to request a Thanksgiving Holiday Host.  Signing up does not guarantee that you will be connected with a local host/host family to celebrate Thanksgiving.  Arrangements are made a on a first-come, first-serve basis.

How are Thanksgiving Holiday Student Guests matched with Hosts?

Students and hosts are matched on a rolling first-come first-serve basis.  Matches are also based on the information provided on the student and host Sign Up Forms.

How will I know if I am matched with a Thanksgiving Holiday Host this Thanksgiving?

After submitting the online Application Form, if you are matched with a host, you will receive notification via email as soon as we have a host family for you.  International Services will notify you in plenty of time so that you can begin making Thanksgiving arrangements with your host.  Please know that submitting the Sign Up Form does not guarantee a Thanksgiving Holiday Host.  Matches are made depending on how many participants, student and host, sign up each year.

What is the commitment as a Thanksgiving Holiday Student Guest?

The commitment is for the Thanksgiving break and specific events only. Hosts are not expected to continue hosting you throughout the remainder of the year.  However it is our hope that both you and your Thanksgiving Holiday Host will continue to stay in contact.

What are the expectations of a Thanksgiving Holiday Student Guest?

By signing up for the program, International Services asks you to be sure to attend the Thanksgiving holiday event that your host has so graciously invited you to. The Coordinator matches students with the families and if you have a friend that would like to join you, please let the Coordinator know.   It is expected that Student Guests contact their host via email or telephone to make plans and arrangements for the Thanksgiving event and make every effort to attend the meal, as the families have made arrangements for you to join their friends and family for Thanksgiving.  If you cannot attend the meal, please let the Coordinator know at least 2 days before Thanksgiving and if an emergency does come up on Thanksgiving Day, please let the host family know right away that you will not be able to attend. 

Thanksgiving holiday events occur at various times depending on the host’s plans.  Hosts are not expected to provide overnight housing to you. 

International Services is not responsible for assisting with making plans and arrangements between Student Guests and Hosts, and is not available to provide transportation for Student Guests.

Should I bring anything to the Thanksgiving holiday event?

It is tradition to bring a small gift as a token of your appreciation to your Thanksgiving Holiday Hosts like flowers, wine, or chocolates, or a small souvenir from your own country. 

Will my Thanksgiving Holiday Host provide housing for me overnight?

No, hosts are not expected to provide overnight housing for Student Guests. However, if your host invites you to stay overnight and you feel comfortable doing so, you may.

I do not have a mode of transportation to my Thanksgiving Holiday Host’s house but would still like to be hosted, is this possible?

Yes.  While not required, many hosts offer to provide transportation for their Student Guest(s) to and from the Thanksgiving event.  For Student Guests who do not have a mode of transportation to the event, International Services will do its best to match them with hosts who can provide transportation.  

When does the Thanksgiving Holiday Host Program take place?

This year the Thanksgiving Holiday is on November 24, 2016, but the date and time of the host's holiday celebration can be flexible. The event does not have to be on the day of the holiday.  For example, instead of Thursday the 24th, a holiday host may invite students to join his/her family Thanksgiving Dinner on Saturday November 26th, or other days.

I made plans to travel over Thanksgiving break, can I still participate in this program?

Yes, you may still participate. If you will be in ONU at any time during the break (November 19th - November 27th, you can arrange with your family to meet on a day that you will be on campus. If you will be gone the entire break, then you will not be able to participate in the program.

Does it cost any money for me to participate?

No, this program is completely voluntary for the families and they are opening their homes to you out of the goodness of their heart.

Can I go with another international student or do I have to go by myself? 

If you would like to go with another student, you can! You do not have to go by yourself. Just be sure to mention that in the "Additional Comments" box on your application.

If your question wasn't answered, contact the International Services Coordinator at or 419-772-1966

[FAQ's borrowed from UC San Diego's Holiday Host Program]