Oakland University
Tuesday, August 16, 2011

International Host Family program still recruiting area families

By Eric Reikowski, media relations assistant

Oakland University’s International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) is recruiting area families who are interested in becoming part of its Host Family program for the 2011-12 academic year. The program provides support to Oakland’s international students by pairing them with families who help ease their transition to American culture.

Last year, more than 30 students participated in the program, which offers a rewarding experience for both students and families, according to Petra Knoche, ISSO assistant director.

“The program has been highly successful at fostering positive cultural interaction between international students and their host families,” Knoche said. It’s a small commitment, but makes a huge positive impact in the life of an international student. We are always excited to see new families get involved in this life-changing experience.”

Host families help international students become acclimated to their new surroundings by introducing them to Oakland and the surrounding community. Students get to experience American life by participating in holidays, traditions, activities and events, while sharing their own customs and practices with their host family. This exchange of culture has helped create memorable experiences for dozens of families and students who have participated in the Host Family program since it was launched in fall 2009.

Linda Pletz, who serves as executive secretary in the Office of the Senior Associate Provost, recently hosted Ming “Grace” Shang, a student from China.

“Being a Host Family has proven to be an extremely rewarding adventure for me,” Pletz said. “Our activities have included going out for dinners and movies, Black Friday shopping, visiting my family, friends and co-workers, and celebrating our birthdays together. For the holidays, Grace carved her very first pumpkin, enjoyed her very first Thanksgiving turkey dinner and helped decorate her very first Christmas tree.”

For more information on the Host Family Program, contact Sarah Severance, ISSO host family coordinator at (248) 370-3608 or sjsevera@oakland.edu.

Those interested in joining the program should submit the host family enrollment form by Friday, Aug. 26. An informational session will be held from 6:30 – 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 9, in the Oakland and Heritage Rooms, located in the Oakland Center. View the flyer or visit the ISSO website to learn more. 
The ISSO is recruiting area families who are interested in becoming part of its Host Family program for the 2011-12 academic year. Sign up by Friday, Aug. 26.

Created by Katherine Land - Deleted (land@oakland.edu) on Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Modified by Katherine Land - Deleted (land@oakland.edu) on Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Article Start Date: Tuesday, August 16, 2011