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International Hospitality Program

For International Students

What is the International Hospitality Program (IHP)?

The IHP is a friendship program. International students do not live with their host families. The IHP is a group of community and campus families who wish to enrich the lives of their families and the international students at SIUE. The IHP seeks to promote mutually rewarding relationships between American families and international students at SIUE.

The IHP assigns each student a host family, and offers social gatherings, picnics, welcome bags for new international students, some household items, and in special circumstances, emergency housing. The IHP sponsors discussion groups and the International Women's Organization, which has invited many of our students to share their experiences in a public setting.

What is a host family?

Host families are caring friends who are interested in you. They can be your "family" while you are away from home. You can request a host family during international student orientation in your first week at SIUE by completing a form or contacting the SIUE Office of International Affairs at 618-650-3785.

What does a host family do?

Your host family will contact you as soon as possible. They will invite you to their home, and they may offer advice on banking, shopping, laundries, automobile responsibilities, housing and health concerns.

They would like you to be a friend. Inform them of your food preferences or restrictions. Be prompt to meetings, especially to a meal. Be honest when you accept or decline invitations. Tell them of changes in your phone number and address.

What does a host family not help with?

Your host family should not help with financial or immigration problems or provide academic advice. These issues should be brought to the Office of International Affairs. Insurance and liability laws make borrowing or lending automobiles inadvisable.

What if it is not a good relationship?

You may request a different family, if you wish, by calling one of the telephone numbers listed below or contacting the Office of International Affairs.

Where do I find out about IHP activities?

You will receive notices via email of all IHP events. The SIUE Office of International Affairs also publicizes IHP activities. All international students are invited to IHP events.

For Host Families

What does a host family do?

After being assigned a student(s), arrange to meet with him or her. Make sure students know your full name, address and phone number, and that you know theirs, as well. Invite them to an occasional family meal (ask about dietary restrictions); include them in holiday celebrations; ask them to accompany you to typical American events. Learn about students' home countries and cultural backgrounds; be aware of their birthdays and special holidays.

What does a host family not do?

Responsibility of the host family does not include financial aid, visas, disciplinary rights of parenthood or permanent housing.

What does a host family need to be aware of?

Don't make quick assumptions about communication. Be sure everyone understands what is being said. Avoid discussing sensitive subjects and proselytizing. Don't be hurt or discouraged if your student refuses an invitation.

What if there are problems?

Call an IHP executive committee member or the international student services advisor.

What are the dues for the IHP?

Dues are $10 per year per host family. Please make checks payable to IHP. There is no cost to students.

Contact Information
To participate in the International Hospitality Program, please signup here.

You can contact us at

Contact a member of the IHP Executive Committee:
Rick Biethman, (618) 984-6116
Rebecca Wayne, (618) 420-9014
Barbara Johnson, (618) 806-1189

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