Hosting International Students

 IELI and the Host Home Program

Have you considered hosting an international student?  Do you have a spare, clean and comfortably furnished bedroom in your home that could be available for rent?

IELI (International English Language Institute) is frequently asked to find host homes for young adults who are coming to Humboldt State University to improve their English in our intensive English language program. The IELI focuses on a student’s academic language skills and preparation for university study. These students come from cultures that are very different from ours, and the transition from a student’s home and culture to studying here in Humboldt can sometimes be confusing and lonely.

We want our students to succeed in their quest, and the host home is an important part of this equation. The host home offers the student housing that is safe and friendly.


Compensation comes directly from the students, as the Host Home Program is a referral service only.

We realize people who utilize our host home program may need continuing support and advice, therefore we have experienced staff on hand who can help with any issues that may come up. We encourage the student to stay with the host for at least one IELI session (2 months) with the understanding that it is a month-to-month agreement between the host and student. International students have stayed with hosts from between 2 months up to 5 years (when they complete their studies and graduate from HSU).


The IELI Host home program outlines three different agreements in the program: Homestay, Home Rent and Home Share. The host and student can utilize these agreements as they choose. We keep house rules and financial agreements uniform within the Host Home Program. If the student and host choose to negotiate away from the IELI agreement, we consider the student no longer in the Host Home program.

Short-Term Programs

The IELI also has short term programs. The Host Home coordinator organizes a group of hosts, who are encouraged to be a “community” for each other and the students, for the term of the program.  We encourage and support mixers, which consist of activities and events for the hosts and students.


If you live in Arcata, Eureka or Mckinleyville and are interested in this program please contact us. Students must be able to get to HSU within 30 minutes travel. We prefer hosts that are at least walking distance to the Redwood Transit Service bus stop, but we understand that some hosts live further away and are able to give rides to their student.

The goal of IELI and the Host Home program is to help a student become independently confident and successful at Humboldt State University and the surrounding community. We consider hosts our partners in helping our students in their success, and will do what we can to make the experience of hosting an IELI student rewarding.

If you are interested, please contact our Student Resources Coordinator, Christiana Gomez Frye, at, or our Activities Assistant Alice Caria at, or call (707) 826-3555. 

We are subject to Federal law standards and therefore have a strict policy concerning host conduct.  Humboldt State University and IELI make it a policy to not discriminate against any person in regards to race, gender, sexual orientation, age, or physical ability.

Friendship Families 

HSU's Friendship Family Program provides international students with the opportunity to form friendship and support with local families in the Arcata area. HSU Center for International Programs organizes the Friendship Family Program by pairing students with host families. Students and families get to know one another through visits to host families' homes, outings and attending events. Students enrich their understanding of American culture and local families gain greater understanding and experience rich interactions with our diverse international campus community. Host a student at your Thanksgiving table, invite a student to the Crabs baseball game, play frisbee and have a picnic at the beach! Share your culture and enjoy new friendship.