Host Family Program

The Host Family Program, also known as "Friends of Macalester International Students," (FoMIS) enables international students to interact with people in the Twin Cities community. It gives international students an opportunity to meet people in the U.S. and helps both hosts and the students learn about different cultures and perspectives. The hosts in the program are either individuals or families. Some live in the neighborhoods around Macalester, others are graduates of Macalester, live in Minneapolis, or live in suburbs of the Twin Cities Metropolitan area. The group of hosts is very diverse, ranging form recent college graduates, families with young children or teenage/college age children, to retired individuals and couples.

There are approximately 200 international students and 170 host families involved in the program. Students start the program the fall semester of their first year. At the end of the first year, they have the choice to continue or discontinue their involvement in the program. It is possible for upperclassmen to join the program during the fall semester, should they decide, later on, that they would like to be involved in the program.

Your host(s) may invite you to visit their home and participate in numerous activities that provide opportunities to learn about the way of life in the U.S. And to make friends with people in the community. Your host(s), however, are not expected to help you with problems such as, for example, finding a place to stay during the academic year or vacation periods, financial needs or difficulties, legal matters, any kind of immigration matters, or serious medical or personal problems. The four main expectations of students in this program are designed to help you make your relationship with you host(s) as fulfilling as possible. These expectations are:

* Make and respond to phone calls and invitations
* Spend time either on or off-campus with your host family on a regular basis
* Share your perspectives and ideas with your host family
* Be open to ideas, activities, styles, and customs of your host

There are many intrinsic rewards that come from relationships with community members in another culture. In this program, we hope you will not only discover new valuable friends, but that you will also expand your knowledge of a different culture- its communities, its history and its people.

Who are our hosts?

Anybody living in the greater Twin Cities metropolitan area is eligible to be part of FoMIS. While many of our hosts live in the neighborhoods immediately surrounding Macalester, many also live in Minneapolis and the suburban areas. Our hosts are single and married, young and old, with and without children, from all ethnic backgrounds and walks of life. The one thing they have in common is an interest in the world and in learning about other cultures, and a willingness to share a bit of their own lives with someone from another part of the world.

If you are interested in applying, fill out the following form:

Host Student Application Form