A program through the College of the Atlantic matches up its international students with local families for a mutually beneficial partnership. Unlike other such programs, COA’s students will live on campus and just spend time with their host families.

The level of that involvement is up to the students and host families and could be as simple as teaching them how to shop in America or as involved as treating them like one of the family. Invite them over for movie night or for family dinners.

COA’s Monica Hamm says it can be challenging and rewarding finding new and fun ways to spend time and exchange cultural traditions. And, she says it's an important program for helping make the students American experience a rewarding one.

"It helps so much because it helps the international students see real local culture of Maine and the U.S. And some of the connections stay on for years after the student graduates and goes home. They come back to the U.S. and they see their host family."

Hamm says it can be a great experience for families with young children to show them what life is like in other parts of the world. Anyone interested in more information about the program and becoming a host family should click the link below!