During your first week in Seattle, you will stay with a local host who will welcome you into their home and give you an opportunity to experience local culture firsthand. Read on to find out more about the Homestay Week experience!
Your Homestay Host
All SUSI participants will live with host families during their first week in Seattle. Some participants will be placed individually and some will be placed in the same household as another participant. Hosts are chosen through a careful selection process.
Each year, FIUTS places over 200 students in homestays, and we are dedicated to supporting students and hosts to make the experience a valuable source of cross-cultural learning and friendship!
American Diversity, Host Diversity
The United States is one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse countries in the world. Almost every ethnicity and religion calls the United States "home." During your stay in Seattle, you will have the opportunity to experience real America, rather than the America you may see in movies or on television.
Some hosts are older, some younger, some are families with children, some are retired couples and some are single. All hosts come from a wide range of national, cultural, religious and socio-economic backgrounds. Host families reflect the diversity of the United States. They have different lifestyles based on such factors as education, salary, geography, and religion. What they will have in common is an eagerness to welcome you into their home and to share their lives with you for a short time.
All of the SUSI host families are carefully screened and selected and are well qualified to be hosts. Everyone’s experience will be different and special in its own way. Your experience in the U.S. will depend on your efforts to learn about and understand all kinds of American lifestyles.
Homestay Hosts are Volunteers
Volunteer activity is an important part of American civic, political, and social life. Participating host families are all volunteers and receive no money from FIUTS or students for their hospitality. The host's only form of payment is the pleasure they receive from getting to know you and learning about you, your life and your country.
Help them get to know you!
Your host family has invited you to stay with them because they want to get to know you and learn about your country. They want to share their ideas and help you understand the United States and how people here live and think. During your homestay, engage actively with your host family and spend time with them. Homestays can be one of the most effective methods of cultural exchange, and one of the most fun too! Try to spend time with each member of your family.
What to expect from your American hosts
Pets. Pets are very popular and common in the U.S. Many American hosts will have a dog, cat, bird, fish, hamster or some kind of pet. Pets spend most of their time inside the house and may even be invited to sleep on the couch or the bed. Pets may be a new experience for you, but they can be great companions during your stay. Try hard to make friends with them! If your host’s pets make you nervous, uncomfortable or allergic please talk to your hosts and a FIUTS staff member.
Busy Households. American families are often very busy! It is common for both adults in the house to work full time and sometimes even teenagers may work part time. American kids and teenagers (and sometimes parents!) are often involved in weekend and after-school sports, clubs and hobbies. This combination often leads to busy and sometimes chaotic households. Sometimes the house may seem messy or untidy if family members have been too busy to clean up. Household habits, routines and environments will be different from your own. It is important not to place a value judgment on these differences.
You are expected to follow the rules of your host family when you live with them, no matter what you may be used to at home. As a participant of the SUSI program, you agree to abide by the rules of your host family.