students watch host carve a pumpkinUWindsor staff member Nancy Steeves (right) demonstrates pumpkin carving to an attentive group of international students.

Holiday host program to give international students insight into Canadian culture

Having a group of international students over for Thanksgiving dinner made the holiday more fun for the guests and their hosts, says Nancy Steeves.

“We had a blast,” the admissions specialist said of her experience with the Host for the Holidays program, which places UWindsor students from around the world in local homes to experience a Canadian celebration. “The more the merrier!”

Steeves said she enjoyed providing a treat to the students but found benefits for her family as well: “It was good for us to be exposed to other cultural traditions.”

The program is now seeking hosts for the December holidays, says organizer Eric Mui. He adds that hosts should not feel they have to make any special effort.

“We don’t want people to go to a lot of trouble,” he says. “The whole idea is that the students want to see a typical holiday dinner.”

He will match host families with guests based on a number of factors—dietary preferences, tolerance for pets, timing of the meal, and even convenience of transportation. Application forms for prospective hosts are available on the International Student Centre website.