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Welcome UVA International Students. Thank you for your interest in the Community Host Program. All international students receive a brochure with information about the IHP along with their visa documents. It contains information about how to apply online for a community host.

If you have any questions, please email us at ihp-ch@virginia.edu.

Student FAQ

What is the Community Host Program?

The community host program is an independent volunteer program associated with UVA's International Studies Office that provides an opportunity for international students attending UVA to meet American families in Charlottesville. Community hosts help students become acquainted with American life and provide assistance to them when needed. Hosts and students share in the excitement of getting to know people from other cultures.

Why should I apply?

Having a host family can ease your transition into American life and allow you to learn about the culture in nonacademic ways. You also have the opportunity to share your own culture with people interested in learning about it.

Who should apply?

Only new international students who have never before lived or studied in the U.S.A.

What will my community host and I do together?

Your host may invite you to dinner, a barbecue, a picnic, or other common American activities. They may also help with practical matters, such as taking you shopping or assisting you in opening a bank account. They may invite you to share a holiday meal or show you historical places of interest in the area.

How much time does it take?

This depends on the student and the host. By mutual agreement they might meet as often as it is convenient throughout the semester on weekends, evenings, and/or holidays.

Who are the host volunteers?

They are residents from the local community. Some are UVA alumni, faculty or staff. Some are single or have family. All are interested in meeting international students.

Why do they want to be host volunteers?

They have many different reasons. Some want to learn about other countries and cultures. Others just enjoy helping people.

Do students live with the host families?

No. Students live in University dormatories or find their own lodging in the Charlottesville area.

Are all host volunteers American?

Most hosts are American citizens and were born here. But some of our hosts are immigrants who have come to Charlottesville from other countries.

When do I apply?

The open application periods are:

1 May - 1 August for students enrolling at UVa for the summer and fall semesters; and

1 November - 15 January for students enrolling at UVa for the spring semester.