The Interlink Language Center at Valparaiso University is searching for families to host international students enrolled in the intensive English program.

Families must live in Valparaiso and be able to provide a student with a private bedroom. Students pay their host families $670 a month for a private bedroom, two meals per day, Internet access, and transportation to and from the University.

Most Interlink students are 18 to 27 years old. Since students do not have their own transportation, families are responsible for getting them to campus by 8:20 a.m. on weekdays and picking them up in the afternoon.

Rebecca Shelton, director of the language center, said having international students live with American families is a rewarding experience for both.

“It’s a huge plus for students to stay with a host family because they’re speaking English all the time in a natural setting and are learning about American culture as well,” Shelton said. “The benefits to families also are enormous because they learn about other cultures, develop new friendships, and learn how people in other countries see America.”

Once families apply to be a host family, the Interlink staff will schedule a visit to look at the accommodations. All families, including those with or without children, working or retired couples, are welcome to participate in the homestay program.

Those interested in participating in the homestay cultural enrichment program should contact Yvonne Schwedland at or 219-405-8571. Students enroll in nine-week sessions throughout the year, and the next term begins August 20, 2012.

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