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Why Be A Host Family?

Being a Host Family can bring a new perspective to your family's life. Having someone from another country stay in your home can be a real eye-opener for kids and parents alike. Suddenly, you will become more aware of your community and surroundings as your introduce it to somebody that have never experienced it.

Being a host family will:

  • Allow your family to experience a new member's culture and customs first hand.
  • Teach your family to share its love and kindness with others.
  • Provide your sons/daughters a unique advantage and experience.
  • Enrich and enlarge your community.
  • Make "friends for life" in another country.

What is expected from host families?

Host family experiences are different for every international student, this can also be said for every student at Cathedral.  We are not expecting our host families to do anything out of the ordinary for their international student.  We want them to have a very real American experience, treat them as if they were your own child.

  • Provide them a place to sleep, this can be their own room or a shared room with a student of the same gender and similar age (within two years).
  • Provide them meals.  School lunches are included in their tuition.  Families would need to cover all other meals just like you would for your own child.
  • Provide a quiet study space. This will probably be a little different for each student.  Some like to study in their room, others at the dining table.
  • Transportation.  Be available or make arrangements for your student to be involved in school activities.
  • Share your culture.  Show them what it is like to live in Minnesota, involve them in your activities.
  • Be open to their culture.  If they want  to cook a traditional meal, be open to trying new things.  Put down the fork and try chopsticks.  I can be very entertaining if you have never tried them before.

Ready to learn more?  Contact Matt Meyer at 320-257-2117 or email.

Questions & Answers

Q.  My family is busy, would we make a good host family?

A.  YES!  Most families are busy with sports and activities.  This is all part of the American experience.  Encourage the international students to get involved or at least attend events.  They will thank you for it when they have many great memories of their overseas experience.  Don't forget, carpooling can be a lifesaver for busy families.

Q.  What if we go on vacation and can't take the student?  What if we need a short break from hosting?

A.  Leave that to us, we have families that are willing to provide temporary care for the students.  Sometimes this is a great way to see if hosting for a longer period will work for a family.

Q.  Do we have to pay for them if we go out to eat?  

A.  If you go out to eat as a family, yes.  If the student goes out with friends, they are responsible for covering "entertainment expenses".  Host families are to provide meals outside of school, this can be a sit down meal at home, eating out, or leftovers on the run when we have activities to get to.

Q.  What if they don’t listen/ obey our rules/ get in trouble?

A.  Much of this can be taken care of by setting rules early, it is much easier to set rules early than to try to make restrictions later.  They should be treated like another member of the family.  If they don't obey the rules that were set, try to work it out as a family.  If this does not work, contact the school.  We will handle it at the appropriate level.  If there is something major, continued enrollment will be evaluated.

Q.  Do I have to monitor their grades? 

A.  Host parents will have the same access to monitor academics as they do for their own children.  If there are academic challenges, host families can set restrictions just like you would for your own children.  Their academics are also regularly monitored by the International Programs office.

Q.  Do I have to do their laundry?

A.  You may need to teach them how to work your washing machine and dryer.  This is a life skill that is good to learn and this is a great opportunity.  If they show up to school with a slightly pink shirt, we can make it a teachable moment on sorting laundry.

Host Family Files