Hosting an ISP Student

Hosting one or more PCS international students can be a very rewarding experience for a family and is of great benefit to the international student as well!  
International students may experience many new and often difficult adjustments as they study and live in a new culture. These adjustments require time, patience, endurance, and often the ability to relax and laugh at one's mistakes. We believe that if international students are nurtured daily within a family environment, they will be better able to make necessary cross-cultural adjustments and they will gain the greatest benefit from their study overseas. It is therefore the intent of Portland Christian High School that all international students attending the school will live with an American host family during the time that they are enrolled at PCHS (unless the student's parents or guardians make other hosting arrangements). PCS host families do receive a stipend to cover the costs of providing a home for our international students. 

Our sincere desire is that international students and their host families will develop, over time, a strong relationship which encourages learning and growth for both sides and which also results in a beautiful, lasting international friendship. Host family and student relationships provide for the student:

  • A physical environment which meets such basic human needs as food, shelter, and safety.
  • An emotional environment where the student receives love, support, encouragement, and guidance.
  • An opportunity for the student, after a time of adjustment, to feel as though he/she is an important member of the host family.

Being included as a part of the host family means that the international student participates in all aspects of family life, as would be expected of all family members. These shared aspects of host family life include the following:

  • Sharing in everyday family activities, such as eating meals together.
  • Joining in family outings and recreational activities at home or away from home, as the student's academic schedule allows.
  • For Portland Christian School students, attending Sunday worship with the host family, or joining a church youth activity at least one time a week with host family members.
  • Sharing in the family's household jobs in the same way that other family members would participate. Each host family has its own plan, but these jobs may include helping to wash dishes, prepare meals, clean the house, do laundry, yard work, etc. Living in a family means that all family members share fun times and work times together, which is very different from renting a room at a boarding house or a hotel.
  • Showing respect for, and cooperation with, family rules about curfew and activities with friends in the Portland area. Host parents function as substitutes for the international student's biological parents and therefore must be informed of the student's activities and whereabouts at all times.
  • Communicating with family members about important factual information, schedules, needs, etc.
  • Communicating on a personal or emotional level about happy or sad feelings, problems at school, personal concerns, etc.
  • Practicing politeness, kindness, good manners, honesty, and thoughtfulness toward all family members.
  • Showing interest in the lives and activities of family members and giving encouragement, help, or support to a host parent or sibling when needed.

The International Student Program at Portland Christian High School recruits students and host families who are genuinely interested in learning and growing across cultural and language barriers and who are also willing to work at overcoming the difficult challenges which these barriers may present. Both students and families must approach the hosting experience with attitudes of openness, patience, creativity, flexibility, and dedication to building a family together before their experience can be a successful one.

The opportunity to study in another country provides the international student with great potential for personal growth and maturity while he/she gains academic knowledge and develops cross-cultural awareness. Serving as a host family to an international student offers the family rich opportunities to discover and appreciate other cultures, to develop skills in interpersonal relationships, and to learn how to show love and hospitality beyond the context of their immediate family.
If you would like to host an international student or would like further information about hosting, please contact Portland Christian Schools at 503-256-3960.