ost Program matches local families and individuals with international students coming to the University of Virginia. Host families participate in cultural exchange and help students acclimate to life in the United States.
When do students arrive in Charlottesville?
Students arrive in Charlottesville in August, and occasionally in January. Community Hosts are matched with students during the late spring and summer. We ask hosts to get in touch with their students as soon as possible after the match and make arrangements to meet students as soon as possible when they arrive in Charlottesville.
Students can book in advance to come down on a direct bus service from Dulles. IHP plans to help students with the move in. If your students arrives on this bus, it;s a great time to meet. Students who do not book this service make their own arrangements to get to Charlottesville. Graduate students arrive on their own schedule.
Do Community Hosts provide housing?
No, students find their own housing.
Who participates in the Community Host Program?
Families and individuals who have a sincere interest in cultural exchange through welcoming new international students, learning about their culture and values, and sharing American culture are encouraged to participate.
What are the membership requirements?
- New hosts complete the IHP Profile Form and attend an orientation;
- All hosts attend a matching forum annually to share what you have learned, learn new ideas from other hosts and important updates about the program and upcoming activities, and get matched with a new student; and
- All hosts maintain personal automobile liability insurance on all owned or leased vehicles with a limit of coverage not less than $300,000 per accident and homeowners or comparable coverage (e.g., renters insurance) that includes personal liability coverage with a limit of not less than $300,000 per occurrence.
Why must hosts maintain this level of auto and home insurance?
While hosting a student does not pose additional risk compared with any other passenger in your automobile or guest in your home, adequate insurance is needed to protect against the common risks of everyday life. Our risk management advisors recommend that this typical minimum level of coverage is necessary to pay you and your student for medical and related expenses caused by injuries regardless of fault.
What insurance coverage do students have?
All students - undergraduate, graduate, and international - must have health insurance according to a resolution adopted by the University Board of Visitors in 1967 and reaffirmed in 1989.
Why does the IHP ask if any member of a household has been convicted of a felony?
This is one aspect of the IHP's practice of due diligence as recommended by our risk management advisors.
What is required to be a good Community Host?
- Write a friendly, get-acquainted email to the student in his/her home country as soon as you receive the name and address, introducing yourself and family and indicating what kind of help you can offer upon arrival.
- Meet the student on arrival, or as soon thereafter as possible.
- Include the student in family events, especially at holidays and school breaks.
- Occasional advice and/or assistance with transportation can often be helpful.
- Introduce your student to area stores, banks, and other local businesses.
- Invite the student to your home; include him/her in informal family events from time to time.
- Encourage the student to tell your family about life in his or her homeland, to share as much as is comfortable of one another's culture.
How long do Community Hosts keep in touch with their students?
Community Hosts need to keep in touch with their students during the critical first year. Being in this program is a rewarding experience for all concerned and sometimes friendships are formed that last for years.