Host Family Responsibilities
Bridge2Rwanda considers host families as partners in our mission to prepare a generation to live extraordinary lives as entrepreneurial servant leaders in Africa.
- Meet and welcome your scholar upon arrival to U.S. (or other country). Most scholars arrive about a week before they have to report to the university in order to get adjusted to life in a new place. During this week, we ask that the scholars stay with the host family so that you can get to know each other and help the student with the initial adjustment to the U.S.
- Transport the scholar to campus and help settle him or her into school and the dorm.
- Provide your student information and feedback about life and norms in the U.S.
- Communicate regularly (at least every two weeks) by email, phone, text message, Facebook, Skype, etc. More often is better during this first semester. The student’s needs often decline over time, but it is important for the student to know that you value him or her as part of your family and are there to help them.
- Ensure that the student has a family (yours or another) with whom to spend the holidays for the full time their dorms are closed. Arrange transportation for the student during this time.
- Invite your student for meals, weekends, church gatherings, cultural and sporting events, and family vacations, if possible. Your student will value the invitation, even if he or she can’t come. Remember that scholars are serious students and will be very busy with school most of the time!
- Help build the student’s network of friends. Introduce him or her to your family, friends, and professionals in the student’s area of study. Create opportunities for him or her to speak about Rwanda (or the student’s home country) and share about his or her background and journey to college.
- Teach your student new skills and provide new experiences – cooking, swimming, skiing, hunting, fishing, horseback riding – whatever you feel comfortable with!
- Help resolve minor (and sometimes major!) issues and meet the typical needs of a college student.
- In general, and in your own way, love on your student. Any extra care goodies or special notes will go a long way in showing your student that you’re thinking about him or her and that your house is always open.
Important Note: We encourage host families who have assumed primary responsibility for caring for a B2R scholar to identify other local families to share the responsibility, particularly for being the student’s home away from home during the holidays in case you are not available. You may also not be able to host for the entire time that your student is on a school break, so it is encouraged to find other families to help with all of these responsibilities.