By Debby Abe
Families can experience a new culture without ever leaving home when they host an international student attending Pierce College. Pierce College is seeking caring, English-speaking families to host international students, who will begin arriving later this summer.
Students have basic to advanced English language skills and take classes at the college’s Fort Steilacoom campus. Most students are college-age but may be older or younger. And, while students may come from all over the globe, most are from Asia. They look to their host families to help them learn American culture.
“Hosting is a life-changing experience for the host and the student. You, the host, can help influence and shape the destiny of a student, simply by sharing life together,” said George Scheffe, Pierce College international housing manager. “The student will enrich and change your world view of their country and ours.”
Hosts commit to housing the student for three months or longer. They should live within a 45-minute public bus ride, with no more than one transfer, to the Fort Steilacoom campus.
Students pay hosts $600 a month to offset expenses. In exchange, host families provide each student:
– A private, furnished room, including a bed, bedding, desk, lamp, closet or drawer space.
– Three meals a day, including a home-prepared dinner that the host eats with the student.
– Use of a washer and dryer.
– A friendly welcoming atmosphere.
Family members must also pass a background check, arrange for a home visit, provide a list of references and attend an orientation session.
“We welcome you to become a part of our international community,” Scheffe said.