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Host Family Program

Through the Lake Society Host Family Program, international students are matched with families of University of Richmond alumni, faculty, and staff. Single people or couples without children are also considered families in addition to families with parents and children.

The Lake Society Host Family Program provides international students with a contact in the Richmond community for informal social and cultural exchange. Unlike traditional homestays, students do NOT live with their hosts. Shopping, museums, lunch/dinner at local restaurants, sports and cultural performances are all very popular activities for host family participants. There are several organized events per year to which host families are invited, such as the Welcome Reception for New International Students & Scholars in September. 

Being a part of the Host Family Program gives international students the opportunity to make new friends, experience the family life of a local Richmond family, and contribute to greater understanding of other cultures by educating Americans about their home country.

While students express appreciation for their hosts, families find the arrangement mutually beneficial—they get to meet and befriend new and interesting people from all over the world, exposing themselves to different cultures and ideas and creating life-long bonds along the way. Basic responsibilities of hosts are initiating contact with the student(s) once you are notified by the Office of International Education about a match and aiming to get together once per month.

Applications

About the Lake Society

The Lake Society, established in 1976, is a volunteer service organization of the University of Richmond. Made up of alumni in the Richmond metropolitan area, Lake Society volunteers serve as the official hosts of the University at concerts, plays, Presidential receptions and dinners, and sporting events. The Lake Society created the host family program for international students in 1987.

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Host Family Program Fast Facts

  • Students DO NOT live with their hosts.
  • UR alumni, faculty, and staff can participate.
  • Single people or couples without children are also considered families in addition to families with parents and children.
  • Students enjoy activities such as shopping, museums, lunch/dinner at local restaurants, sports and cultural performances

Student Testimonials

"Not only was the host family program a lot of fun, it helped me better understand the American culture and the different traditions and festivals they celebrate. My host family was extremely helpful and definitely had a positive influence on my stay in the University of Richmond." Rishi Doshi, India

"My host mom has been like a second mother to me from the first day I met her. She is a special woman with a generous heart and I feel that her care and concern for me and my life is nothing but genuine. I am grateful for this program because it brought a wonderful person into my life." Monique Bowe, Bahamas