(Formerly the Hampshire International Student Host Family Program)
Incoming international students are matched with a Hampshire staff or faculty member who can provide an additional source of support away from home. International students do not live with their match.
Coming from a different country to this really new culture and leaving everything I had behind, I thought I would be lost. But meeting this wonderful group of people made me feel welcome. They provided me everything I needed to get started. And since the time I first met them up until now, they've made me feel like I'm a part of their family. This is the great first impression I had of America. I am very thankful for them for all the help, support, and love they have given me.
Achyut Shrestha F08
The International Friends and Family Program is an opportunity for cultural exchange, and an additional source of support and information about Hampshire, the Five College system, and U.S. culture. Often a student and his/her Hampshire match build a friendship that extends beyond the college years. Currently there are over 60 participants in the program: over 32 matches.
Getting to know the students is my favorite part of the Host Family Program. I think they are much braver than I was at 18 to leave home and travel to a different country on the other side of the world, to a place with a different language and culture and where they don't know anyone. I like being a welcoming presence for them. I have found that the two students I have hosted so far have not wanted a parental figure, but rather a friend who is 'in the know' about Hampshire, the Five-College area, and the U.S. in general.
Marge Dunehew, Host
The Host Family Program is such an amazing opportunity for both students and staff. I have so enjoyed getting to know both of my host students, and sharing our stories, cultures, and experiences has been eye-opening and exciting for all of us. For such a small commitment there is an enormous sense of reward and satisfaction in being able to help students from far away feel at home while they are at Hampshire. The only thing better than being a host to one student is the connection that I have made with many of the other host families and their students--I feel like I am part of a bigger family now, too!
Josiah Litant, Host
The Hampshire friends and families match provides an additional source of support away from home for international students. Each relationship is different, based upon time availability and the student's needs. The most important aspect of the relationship is to build a foundation of trust and connection to help the student with his/her transition to college, U.S. culture, and to help him/her through any times of homesickness and culture shock. The goal is that the family and student are able to meet often and find ways to learn more about each other.
When the Hampshire Friend/Family is together with their student, ask him/her:
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
The Hampshire Friend/Family provides an additional source of support away from home for international students. Each relationship is different, based upon time availability and the student's needs. Hampshire staff/faculty and their families have taken time out of their lives to extend themselves in order to help students transition to U.S. culture, college life, and being away from their families. This is an opportunity to get to know a U.S. family and to get additional help with the transition to Hampshire College and U.S. culture.
We hope students will:
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Students and families can take their own initiative, however, to plan a group outing. Ideas for a group outing or for just the student and family:
Questions about the program should be directed to multicultural and international student services, firstname.lastname@example.org.