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Welcome Week

Information about hosting for Welcome Week for UW international students.

Thank you for your interest in hosting an international student through FIUTS! Our homestay programs make a real difference for students who are visiting our community, and we are always in need of volunteer hosts.

Apply to host here

Already a host? Let us know your 2015 availability here

Welcome Week is the original FIUTS homestay program through which members of the Seattle-area community volunteer to host University of Washington international students for their first 7-10 days in the Pacific Northwest.

This program serves to help new students feel welcome and get settled in a new city, and helps them to learn more about American culture and the local area. For hosts, this program is an opportunity to learn about different parts of the world and share your culture with international visitors. Read on for more information about Welcome Week, and apply to be a host here.


About the Students

Welcome Week students include new undergraduates, exchange students, graduate students, PhD candidates, and visiting scholars. Students are from a variety of regions and backgrounds. China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong are among the most common countries represented, and we also have many students from Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa. We invite hosts to let us know if they have an interest in a particular country or level of study and we will accommodate your preferences to the best of our ability.

Hosting Dates

Most UW international students arrive between late August and the first two weeks of September; this is the time of year at which the most Welcome Week hosts are needed, as approximately 200 new students apply for a homestay during this period. A smaller number of students also begin their studies during the Winter, Spring, and Summer quarters. Hosts may choose to host at whatever time is convenient for them.

michelle with host students

Hosting Requirements

Since students often need to be on campus for orientation and other activities during their homestay, hosts should be located within a one-hour commute to the University of Washington. Most students commute via public transportation.

Students may share a sleeping space with someone of a similar age or gender. FIUTS has air mattresses available for hosts who request them, as many of our hosts have students sleep in a living room or den.

Most importantly, we ask that our hosts have an open mind, a sense of curiosity and openness towards new cultures, and enthusiasm for sharing your own culture with a visitor.

Number of Participants Per Household

Most hosts offer homestays to one or two students at a time, but if you are interested and able to accommodate more than two students, you are welcome to do so! Hosts are also needed for couples and families, as some older students and visiting scholars come to Seattle with their partners and/or children.


Host Events & Activities

All Welcome Week hosts are invited to attend two annual events during the Fall orientation week: International Homestay Appreciation Night and Community Barbecue. We also have numerous Community Events throughout the year.

Apply to be a Welcome Week host by filling out the FIUTS Host Application.

Questions? Contact Ellen Frierson at or (206) 616-7025.


Hosting Opportunities

Host Application

Frequently Asked Questions

Code of Ethics

Resources for Current Hosts

Stories, Photos, and Testimonials

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