Frequently Asked Questions: FIUTS Homestay Program
If you do not see the answer to your question listed below, please contact the FIUTS Manager of Community Programs, Ellen Frierson.
Who is eligible to participate in the Welcome Week Homestay Program?
The Welcome Week Homestay Program is open to all new University of Washington international students and scholars and takes place during their first 7-10 days in Seattle.
Homestay applications are accepted online through the FIUTS webpage. Most students who apply to the program are placed with hosts, but because of the high demand for this program, FIUTS cannot guarantee that you will be placed.
For the Homestay Program, the processing fees are as follows:
Individual students: $100
Married Couples: $125
These fees will be applied regardless of how many days you choose to stay with your homestay host. These fees ARE NOT paid to your host, as all FIUTS hosts are volunteers who recieve no financial compensation. Program fees are charged to your MyUW student account, and will be due with your tuition.
It depends on when you cancel. If you cancel //more// than 10 days before your arrival, you will not be charged a fee. If you cancel 10 days or //less// before your arrival, you will be charged a fee of $25 for Homestay programs and $15 for Friendship Connection programs. This cancellation fee does NOT apply to students who cancel due to visa or enrollment difficulties.
How many days before classes should I arrive?
If you are starting at the UW in Fall Quarter, International Student Orientation begins approximately 2 weeks before classes begin. Winter, Spring, and Summer Quarter Orientations are usually around the first day of classes. Whenever you arrive, it is important to schedule free time for both orientation and settling-in.
Please note that it is very difficult for FIUTS to find you a homestay host if you are arriving on a U.S. holiday or a holiday weekend, such as Labor Day weekend (the first Saturday, Sunday, and Monday in September). If you would like improve your chances of being placed in a homestay for Fall quarter 2013, we strongly encourage you to plan to arrive between September 6 and 10, as many hosts are traveling or hosting family members before then and are not available to provide a homestay.
What if I don't know my exact arrival time yet?
You should still fill out your homestay application as early as possible and tell us approximately when you plan to arrive. When you confirm your flight to Seattle, let us know the exact arrival time. Please note, we cannot place you with a host family until we have your arrival information.
Host information will be sent by e-mail as soon as you have been placed with a host family. You will probably recieve this information about two weeks before your departure, and this will include a short profile and contact information for your hosts. You should contact your hosts before you come to Seattle to make special arrangements and learn more about them. If we are unable to place you with a host family, we will notify you within two weeks of your departure.
Unfortunately not; at this time we are unable to place friends together in the same homestay.
It is important to understand that homestays are meant to be cultural exchanges. You are expected to interact with your host family and spend time with them. Your homestay should NOT be treated as just a place to stay while you are getting set up in Seattle. If you are not interested in cultural exchange and are just looking for a place to stay, FIUTS can suggest a list of hotels near the University.
FIUTS hosts are unpaid volunteers from the Seattle area who offer their hospitality as a gesture of friendship and goodwill. They may be young or old, married or single, gay or straight, with younger children or retired. They are from a variety of ethnic, religious, economic and educational backgrounds, reflecting the diverse culture of the United States. For your best possible match, please be sure to tell us as much about yourself as possible in your application.
Maybe. Many hosts work during the day, so they may or may not be able to pick you up. Do not worry though! FIUTS will give you details about airport transportation, and you will have an opportunity to talk about airport arrival with your host before you come to Seattle.
If FIUTS is unable to place you in a homestay, you will need to find alternative housing. Please visit our housing page for more information on hostels and hotels that FIUTS recomends. If you have a confirmed placement in a university residence hall, you are eligible for Early Arrival Housing. Everyone who applies for Early Arrival housing will get an assignment. Please visit the Early Arrival Housing website for more information.
On-Campus Housing: You should apply for UW housing as early as possible! Residence halls (dormitories) usually open between 1 and 3 days before classes begin. In the Autumn Quarter, temporary Early Arrival housing is available for students who have already been accepted into UW and starts one week before the residence halls officially open. Space is limited, and must be reserved through the Housing and Food Services Office. For information, email email@example.com.
Off-Campus Housing: Seattle can be a difficult place to find housing, so start looking early! If you plan to rent private accommodations such as an apartment or room in a house, start looking online before you get to Seattle, and give yourself at least a week to find a suitable place. We recommend UW Off-Campus Housing Affairs as a good resource.