Language institute seeks hosts
By Catherine Doss
Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 32 - June 5, 1997
The English Language Institute at Virginia Tech is seeking local individuals or families to host international students in their homes beginning in the fall.
The homestay program links host families in the community with highly motivated international students who wish to experience American life and improve their language skills through daily casual conversation. Last year more than a dozen international students were provided housing arrangements with host families.
Homestay arrangements are flexible and may last two months or longer by mutual agreement. Students pay for rental of a bedroom and, in many cases, kitchen and laundry privileges. Hosts are encouraged to interact with their guests as much as possible.
"These students are really serious about improving their speaking ability and want to practice using English as much as possible," said Judith Snoke, director of the English Language Institute. "They also want to learn as much as they can about American life and culture."
Snoke said it was often difficult for students from the Language Institute to find housing because apartment rental was often difficult to obtain in the fall. Many of these students need short-term accommodations, and campus dormitory space is limited.
"This has been a wonderful experience for us," said Blacksburg resident Frank Santoroski who, along with his wife Mary, has hosted several international students, most recently two students from Korea. "They have been the nicest people you could ever want to share your home with. From our friendship and interactions, we have gained a deep appreciation for the Korean culture. It's an experience we'll treasure always."
For more information about the homestay program with the English Language Institute of Virginia Tech, contact Snoke at 1-6963.