Host program to provide Canadian holiday experience to international students

Canada is a long way from home for many international students, but UWindsor faculty and staff can make them feel more at home through the Host for the Holidays program.

A project of the International Students Centre, it matches international students with local families willing to open their homes for a Thanksgiving meal.

“Students from abroad have come to this country because they are interested in its culture and customs,” says international student advisor Enrique Chacon. “Our holiday celebrations are a great opportunity for them to extend their learning and experience Canadian traditions first-hand.”

He says past participants have found the extra guests enrich their Thanksgivings.

“Sharing our cultures can help remind us what is special about them,” says Chacon. “And meeting these young people from other places can remind us of what we have to be grateful for on Thanksgiving.”

The program, now in its fourth year, is accepting applications from prospective hosts and guests through September 30. Organizers will match hosts with guests based on a number of factors—dietary preferences, tolerance for pets, timing of the meal, and even convenience of transportation.

Thanksgiving weekend runs October 5 to 8. Find more information, including online applications, on the program Web site,