Host, Friendship Families Sought for Augustana International Students
Last year, more than 50 area families took part in an opportunity to learn more about other cultures and traditions by providing support to an international student through Augustana's Host Family and Friendship Family programs.
This year, Augustana's International Programs Office is again seeking local families to participate in these programs designed to provide a support network for students from around the world as they study at Augustana and live in Sioux Falls.
Host Family Program
On Tuesday, August 12, six students from Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine and Pakistan will arrive in Sioux Falls. Each student will need a host family for ten days prior to the start of the school year. Augustana would like to pair each student with a host family willing to provide room and board; transportation to the College Monday-Friday (the IPO will provide orientation and cultural programming each day, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.); and family and cultural activities during the evening and weekends from August 12-22. The students will move into their on-campus residence halls on Friday,August 22. Host Families are reimbursed $150 and can choose to continue their relationship with their host student through the Friendship Family Program.
The relationships built during the Host Family program have not only helped international students to learn and adjust, but have benefited the host families as well, according to Beth Boyens whose family has hosted students for the past three years.
"What we most appreciate about having students from around the world in our home is what our own (four) children gain from the experience. They now have a broader world view and have seen that even though people come from a variety of places and have diverse life experiences, we can all connect and converse and appreciate one another."
Friendship Family Program
The Friendship Family Program is designed to give a new student a family contact in Sioux Falls. The family does not provide lodging. Instead, the family makes a commitment to befriend a new student and to provide opportunities to have a home-cooked meal once or twice a month or to participate in various cultural or community activities throughout the year.
Believe it or not, even the shortest interactions these international students have with families have encouraged lasting relationships past the duration of these international students' educational time at Augustana.