Right@Home Surrogate Family Program

Colleges and universities have many students who are away from their families. This separation can be difficult for many students. Right@Home is a surrogate family program, which gives them the chance to experience family life during their stay at school. Unlike traditional host family programs, students do NOT live with their hosts. By becoming involved in Right@Home, families can invite students into their lives and together enjoy a fun cross-cultural learning experience.

What will you gain from Right@Home?

  • Insights about other cultures
  • Greater awareness of one’s ideas and values
  • Wonderful friendships

What can you do together?

  • Invite the student to dinner
  • Go to the beach
  • Attend sports and cultural performances

The sky is the limit! Just have fun and treat this student like a member of the family.

How much time does it take?

You decide! Families and student(s) arrange to meet every month or two at mutually convenient times. For these activities, the host will provide transportation for the student(s) to and from campus. The duration of the volunteer cycle is one academic year. The host and student(s) may choose to extend the relationship beyond that academic year (e.g., until the student graduates, or for another academic year).

How Do I Apply for the Right@Home Program?

If you are an incoming student and interested in joining the program, please complete the questionnaire below.

If you are a Christ Church community member interested in serving as a host, please complete the questionnaire below.

FAQs for Host Families

What is the Right@Home?
Right@Home is a surrogate Family Program which offers a cross-cultural experience for students the opportunity to learn more about the American culture, as well as sharing their own culture and customs with families.

Who can sign up to participate in the Right@Home?
Individuals, students, married couples, and families who are members of Christ Church are all encouraged to become Host Families.


What about the security issues?
Because Right@Home is a volunteer program based totally on mutual agreement between families and students, you and your student are responsible for your own safety. If you don’t feel comfortable with the student or family, please let us know as soon as possible.


How do I pronounce their names? How do I address them?
Ask them. They understand that their names are unusual for us to say. Some will tell you their “American name,” feeling that it will be easier for you. If you make an effort to learn their real name, they’ll appreciate it.


What do they like to eat?
You should ask the students if they adhere to a particular diet, or if there are foods that they don’t eat. Some international students don’t eat meat, some will not eat pork. Usually chicken, fish or eggs are “safe” to serve. You may certainly serve American food; the international student will expect this. But don’t be too surprised if the student isn’t enthusiastic about your dish. It may take time to get used to American food.


What about praying before the meal?
Feel free to practice whatever family customs you have about prayer before or after the meal, explaining to the students that this is your custom. Say something simple such as, “It’s our family custom to give thanks to God for the meal as we begin.” Just be yourself. As you do this with tact and love, they’ll respect your convictions, and it may lead to a good conversation about spiritual things.

What can we talk about?
International students miss their families. Most love children, and will be happy to share with you about their family life (brothers and sisters, parents, children, customs) and country. If you have a world atlas handy, they can point out where they live. You can ask them about their studies, hobbies, and religion, if they have one.

Who should initiate the contact?
You should. Many international students feel like “guests” here, and may feel it’s too “forward” to call you. Make sure they have your telephone number and email, just in case they need to get in touch with you.