GREENVILLE, Pa.—The Thiel College Office of International Student Affairs is in need of families to support international students as a part of its Host Family Program.
In its fifth year, the program provides familial support to Thiel international students through weekly meetings with a host family on or off campus.
This fall, Thiel College is hosting 44 international students. Assistant Dean of Student Life and Director of International Student Affairs Shannon Reesh said the program is immediately looking to recruit 10-15 new families. Approximately 150 students have been involved with the Host Family Program since its launch in 2011.
Typically, the families reach out to their students by phone or email, before inviting them to their homes for a meal, taking students to local restaurants and shops, or attending campus events together, and celebrating holidays together. These meetings provide international students with a safe environment off-campus to learn in-depth about American culture, traditions, customs and values. It offers them an additional group in which to learn and perfect their English skills and a meaningful way to share their cultural backgrounds. According to Reesh, participating families learn to appreciate new cultures, languages, foods and traditions. They build meaningful relationships with students and expose their own children to a global perspective.
“The program was designed as another way for students and families to share cultures with one another in the hopes of creating lifelong friendship,” Reesh said. “As we continue to welcome new students—who are extremely interested in joining in this rewarding program—every semester, we continue to need new families to become involved.”
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