Guests help prepare dessert during an earlier holiday placement.Guests help prepare dessert during an earlier holiday placement.

Program to match international students with holiday hosts

There is no better way to promote peace than to reach out to citizens of other nations, says Enrique Chacon. That’s why the international student advisor gets excited about the Host for the Holidays program.

“It’s an opportunity for students from around the world to learn about Canadians, and for people here in Windsor to gain an understanding of other cultures as well,” he says.

The program places international students with Windsor families willing to open their homes to guests for a holiday dinner. Chacon says the students are interested in joining a typical family celebration, so hosts should not go to a lot of extra trouble.

“One extra seat around the table is all it takes,” he says. “They are interested in seeing how you celebrate, so you shouldn't change the way you enjoy the holiday—whether it's Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or the winter solstice.”

Organizers are calling for volunteer hosts to register now to invite a dinner guest for December 24, 25, or 26. Hosts will be matched 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 both prospective hosts and guests are available on the website of the International Student Centre,