dominican logo top
You are here: Home / Admissions / Global Education / Host Family

Host Family

The mission of the Global Education Office (GEO) is to promote cross-cultural contact, understanding and appreciation between students, faculty, staff and members of the community. We facilitate the exchange of students and scholars and work to foster an inclusive social environment on and off campus that enriches the experience for all.

We invite Dominican students, faculty, staff and community members to participate in making our campus even more international, inclusive and culturally diverse. Help us make our international students' experiences at Dominican memorable and life-changing.

Sign up for one of our programs below, learn about different cultures without ever leaving the Bay Area and become richer and wiser because of your new experiences.


Dominican International Student Host (DISH) Program

Dominican's  International Student Host Program matches incoming international students with DUC faculty, staff, alums, and friends. The program helps students make the transition to US life, gives hosts the opportunity to learn about other cultures and perspectives, and can serve as a springboard for friendships that often last beyond a student’s stay at DUC.

Students don’t live with their hosts. Instead, they join their hosts in activities that expose them to aspects of US life that they might not otherwise experience.  For example, dinner at a host’s home or sightseeing around the bay area. Participating in the program is voluntary for both participants and hosts.

We limit participation in the Dominican International Student Host Program to international students who have never lived in the US before coming to DUC and who don’t have close relatives who live in the US. Entering international students are sent host request applications prior to their arrival at DUC.

Apply to become a Host Family.


Frequently Asked Questions for Prospective Hosts

-Will a student live with me in my home?

The International Student Host Program is a friendship program, not a homestay program. Students in the program have their own housing.

-What are a host’s responsibilities?

Your main responsibility is to keep in touch with your student. Postcards and email notes are good ways to stay connected. We also ask that you be a supportive friend by inviting your student to a meal in your home or at a restaurant, to visit a museum or attend an event with you, or just to go for a walk.

-Who can be a host?

Faculty, staff, administration, alumni/ae, and friends of DUC are all welcome. Single people, couples, single parents, and other families of all sizes can be hosts in the program.

-How are hosts matched with students?

We ask hosts and students similar questions when they apply to the program (e.g., what do you like to do in your spare time?). The match is finalized by telephone with the program coordinator.

-Do I need to live near DUC?

Our hosts come from all around the bay area, primarily in Marin County. If it’s convenient for you, it probably will be for your student, too.

-What if I don’t have a car?

It’s fine to be a host if you don’t have a car. But you will need to plan activities that are accessible by walking or mass transit.

-When do the students arrive on campus?

Most students arrive mid- August for the fall semester, a few arrive in June/July, and some arrive in mid-January for the spring semester. We match students with hosts throughout the year.

-How much time will I be expected to spend?

The amount of time participants spend together varies. Many participants get together throughout the year. Others spend more time together during DUC vacations and breaks.

-Do I make a commitment for a specific length of time?

We hope that you will continue your relationship throughout your student’s stay at DUC. This may be nine months or four years, depending on your student’s program.

-What do students do during vacations?

Students go home, travel, or stay in their own on- or off-campus accommodations. If you would like to invite your student to spend all or part of a holiday with you, you may, but this isn’t an expectation or requirement of the program.

-What if a match doesn’t work?

We try to make matches that satisfy both the host and the student. If a match doesn’t work, we ask the student and the host to contact the program coordinator so that a new connection may be made.

-Do students usually have enough money to pay their own way to events?

Because different students in the program have different financial situations, it’s not possible to assume that each one can afford to pay for outings or events. If you suggest an activity that requires money, we ask that you pay unless you and your student have clearly made another arrangement.

-How can I learn more about Host to International Students Program and to sign up?

For more information, please contact Vaolele Stawiarski, the program coordinator at 415-458-3767.


Global Ambassadors Program

Through the Global Ambassadors program, developed in 2003 by the Institute for Leadership Studies and the Dominican's Office of Admissions, Dominican international students act as ambassadors for their countries and cultures during organized visits to elementary and secondary schools in Marin County. They give presentations on different themes related to their countries of origin.

Global Ambassadors also organize monthly round tables at Dominican and present their international perspectives to Dominican students, faculty and staff.

To learn more about the Global Ambassadors Program at Dominican and to apply to be a Global Ambassador, contact Giulia Welch at


Radica Ostojic-Portello-ContactI'm Vaolele Stawiarski, Associate Director of International Student and Scholar Services at Dominican.

Please contact me if you have any questions about getting involved!


Common Sites & Pages


Faculty & Staff