Share your world: Become a Saint Martin’s College host family

May 11, 2005

Lacey – Could this be the summer you give a once-in-a-lifetime experience to a student from another country?

Saint Martin’s College’s Office of International Programs is looking for great host families to give students from Japan, China and Taiwan an opportunity to experience American family life and culture up-close and personal. The college’s international programs are expanding, and with them, the chance for more families to enjoy a visitor from abroad and broaden their understanding of the world. Families are needed to host students for a weekend or for a one-week or two-week period. The longer home-stays provide a stipend to host families to help cover expenses.

Theo Porter, community liaison for the college’s host family program, said while most students are college-age, some students of high-school age or younger are expected to participate in Saint Martin’s summer cultural programs. While at Saint Martin’s, students take classes, see regional attractions and experience American culture through fieldtrips to area businesses and organizations. Still, the highlight of their trip is time spent at the homes of host families.

“The host family experience creates bonds that last a lifetime,” Porter said. “As many families who have hosted previously can attest, many of our students who come for a summer end maintaining close ties with the families who hosted them.”

Host families don’t need to spend a lot of money or go to extraordinary lengths to entertain international students, he said. Everyday activities such as a shopping trip to the supermarket, a family picnic , playing board games or cooking a meal together give students insight into American family life, he said.

To apply, prospective host families complete an application and questionnaire from the college. To insure students have a positive and safe home-stay experience, all members of the household over age 12 also must complete a simple background check.

For more information on becoming a host family and dates when host families are needed, please contact Porter at 360-438-4598;

Theo Porter
Community liaison, Office of International Programs
(360) 438-4598;

Deanna Partlow
Senior editor, media specialist, Office of Communication
(360) 438-4541 or