What is the role of a host family?

The host family plays a unique and vital role in the international student experience. While providing a safe environment for students to live in, host families provide more than just a room and board experience. Host families provide support for an international student while they are away from home and often help to bridge the cultural gap that students experience. At the same time, host families need to understand that their role is not to replace the student’s natural family. International students in this day and age stay closely connected with their family and friends in their home country – often on a daily basis. The host family needs to respect the student’s culture and native family while also helping them to adjust to the home and culture they are currently living in.