Each year, SHSU enrolls about 300 international students at our main campus in Huntsville. A growing number of students have expressed a desire to get more involved with the local community that is now their home. One of the best ways for them to do this is to stay with a local family for the first semester they are on campus.
In addition, SHSU hosts several short-term programs each year, with students staying 3-6 weeks for a Language and Culture Immersion program. It is especially important for these students to have a host family experience, as it will greatly enhance their language acquisition and cultural understanding. So, now you know it’s good for the students, but you are probably asking,
“What’s in it for my family?”
Create a Volunteer Family
Families of all shapes and sizes benefit immensely from doing good together. Parents experience the joy of sharing in another child’s development. Children of all ages benefit from bonding with a student from another country. And by sharing a desire to understand other cultures and make an impact, your family will grow together.
Live Life to the Fullest
Families with grown children or without kids of their own love hosting too. Having an exchange student at SHSU provides a great way to stay involved with your community. Many people also find they start living life to the fullest with a new son or daughter to share experiences with.
Share Your National Pride
When you host, you play a direct role in promoting American and Texan values. Living with a family is the best way for students from around the world to become immersed in American culture and lifestyle. When the young man or woman you host goes back home, the lessons they’ve learned abroad will help to shape their decisions for a lifetime.
Learn More About the World
Hosting is an excellent way to learn about the world without leaving home. Parents and children alike can learn a new language, get personal insight into the world beyond their backyards, and even become excellent international cooks! Living with a student from another culture is an education in itself, and doesn’t require a passport.
Host families and exchange students laugh. A lot. Whether giggling over the mispronunciation of words or sharing students’ excitement about prom, host families have a tremendous amount of fun.
Change the World
It sounds ambitious, but it’s true: when you host an SHSU international student, you gain the power to change the world, one student at a time.
Earn a Stipend
To thank you for all the hard work that you as a host family do for volunteering with SHSU, we provide a stipend for each student in your home. It’s just a small way that we can show our appreciation!