Homes sought for foreign exchange students
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The Sonoma State American Language Institute (SSALI) is looking for homestay families who would like to share their homes with international students who are studying English in the SSALI program. Families should live within biking, walking or a bus route from SSU in Rohnert Park or Cotati.

Students are seeking a home where they can be part of a family, learn about American culture and practice their English.

“Most people who participate in our home stay really love the experience and often have contact with their students long after the student returns home,” says Debra Crow, International Student Coordinator. “It is a wonderful way to experience a new culture and make lasting friends for both the student and the family.”

At SSALI, four sessions are held throughout the year: two summer sessions of five weeks each and spring and fall semester (15 weeks each). 

The remaining dates for 2013-2014 are: Summer One (2014) –May 29-July 3; Summer Two (2014) – July 10-Aug. 14; and Fall 2014 – Sept. 4-Dec. 19.

SSALI students come from all over the world, but the majority come from Asia. A sizeable number also arrive from Saudi Arabia and South America. Generally, the students are between the ages of 18-25. Most study English for one or two semesters, although some have been known to stay for as long as two years.

“We try our best to give students and host families what they desire,” says Crow.

Students pay homestay fees directly to the family, and there are two housing options. The most popular is the homestay option in which the student pays $700 each month and receives 16 meals each week, a private bedroom and full use of the laundry facilities. Utilities are included.

The student can also choose the “room only” option in which the student pays $550 each month and must buy and cook his/her own food. Even with this plan, the student is part of the family and is included in family activities. Applications from potential home stay families should be submitted several months in advance.

For more information, contact Crow at (707) 664-2742 or email her at debra.crow@sonoma.edu 707-664-2742.

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