UH Hilo international students meet with host families

The Host Family Program matches international students with families in the local community to help the students learn more about Hilo, Hawai‘i Island and the state, as well as develop a “second” family while attending UH Hilo.

By Susan Enright.

Large group of students and local families gathered for photo.
International students and local families participating in the UH Hilo Host Family Program gather for an evening together on campus. Courtesy photo. Click to enlarge.

International students attending the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo and participating in the Host Family Program gathered together on Friday evening with their extended ‘ohana.

The Host Family Program matches international students with families in the community to help the students learn more about Hilo, Hawai‘i Island and the state, as well as develop a “second” family while attending UH Hilo.

Jim Mellon
Jim Mellon

“It’s a way for students to not only get to know the local community and build bridges there, but also for local families to learn more about other countries and cultures,” says Jim Mellon, who initiated the Host Family Program and serves as director of UH Hilo’s International Student Services and Intercultural Education. Mellon hosted Friday’s event.

Host families do not provide a place for students to live, but rather meet with their student periodically throughout the year for things like home-cooked meals, trips around the island, shopping, and other fun and interesting things to do on the island.

Sign up!

Students interested in participating in the program can visit the International Student Services & Intercultural Education office.

Local families living in the Hilo area who are interested in hosting a UH Hilo international student, fill out the form and submit it electronically.

 

About the writer of this story: Susan Enright is a public information specialist for the Office of the Chancellor and editor of UH Hilo Stories. She received her bachelor of arts in English and certificate in women’s studies from UH Hilo.