There simply is no better way to show the world the truly generous spirit of Oregonians than to host. If you've ever wondered what you could do to contribute to deeper cross-cultural understanding and a more peaceful world—this is it! Your hospitality makes a world of difference.
Host Overnight at your Home
Build lifelong connections by opening your doors to an international visitor for a U.S. home experience. Throughout the year (and especially during the summer and fall), the International Visitor Program offers the opportunity to host a youth (ages 15 - 18 unless otherwise noted) or adult visitor from across the world—from three nights to five weeks. Overnight hosts provide a private bedroom, breakfast, most dinners, and an up-close view of daily life in an Oregon home.
Hosted dinners often make the biggest impact on the international visitors because they create opportunities for one-on-one conversation and a deeper appreciation for cultural commonalities. Whether a summer barbecue, a dinner shared with friends, or a simple family supper, these visits often lead to long-term friendships and offer a welcoming window for visitors during their time in the U.S. We offer opportunities to host anywhere from two visitors to a whole group. Meals usually take place in the evening and last two to four hours.
To sign up for an opportunity, please complete the brief survey or email the Program Officer assigned to the project directly. The Program Officer will confirm your participation. We are lucky to have a wonderful community of hosts, so cannot guarantee every opportunity you may sign up for.
Oregon-based business and organizations can experience the transformative benefits of a global network—right from home! Welcome visitors from across the world for a tour of your business or organization, share your unique successes and challenges, and exchange innovative ideas with industry leaders! Learn more about our International Visitor Program. Contact us today to get involved as a Professional Host!
I went from zero knowledge to some little knowledge. But that has been wonderful. We will likely keep in touch and continue to understand more.
-Aubrey, overnight host
Multi-cultural experiences helps my organizations in being better world citizens. We realize that although we have differences, we have so much in common.
-Steve, hosted at his business
I have hosted three groups for overnight stays and at least four groups for dinners. Each time they have been interesting, involved people from whom I have learned a lot about their individual lives, their cultures and the causes they care about.
-Esther, dinner host and overnight host
For overnight hosting of youth and adult visitors:
Click the link above to complete the online hosting application
Submit your personal information for a criminal background check
Schedule a time for a home visit from one of our staff
Attend a host orientation
For meal hosting:
Choose a meal hosting opportunity
Click the link above to complete the meal hosting information form
Look for an email from the one of our program officers confirming your participation as a dinner host
To host at your business or organization:
Click the link above to tell us a little more about your business and what type of visitors you would be interested in meeting
Our program officers will contact you when an opportunity for a great interaction arises
For overnight hosting of youth and adult visitors we prefer that you host the visitors for the duration of their time in the Portland area (rather than part of the time). Most youth exchange programs are about 12-15 nights. We are willing to discuss part-time hosting alternatives on a case-by-case basis.
Meal hosting usually lasts 3-4 hours and typically take place in the evening. This is a great option for hosting if you are looking to interact with international visitors but can’t commit to multiple days!
Hosting at your business or organization usually entails a 1.5 - 2-hour meeting, however there are also longer-term options for engaging with international professional counterparts.
For overnight hosting of youth and adult visitors, you may host one or two visitors. If you choose to host two visitors, they will be of the same gender identity. For meal hosting, you can host as many visitors as you are willing and able—from two visitors to the whole group! Let us know how many visitors you would like to host when you complete the hosting information form. When hosting at your business or organization, you are usually expected to host the whole group. The size of the group may vary, but usually falls between 2-20 visitors.
Overnight hosts for youth and adult visitors and adult mentors are expected to incorporate the visitors as much as possible into their daily family life—for example by cooking and eating together, spending free time together, and sharing each other’s cultures. They provide a separate room with an individual bed (If you choose to host two youth, they can share a room, but must have separate beds), and access to a bathroom (can be shared). Sometimes, you may be asked to assist with transportation, either by giving the guest a ride to and from our office, orienting them to the transportation system, or riding with them on public transportation. (Note: different programs may have different transportation requirements, so be sure to note transportation availability on the host application.). Overall, hosts should offer a safe, hospitable, and welcoming environment. Hosts must agree to follow all hosting guidelines, which will be provided before the visitors arrive.
Meal hosts are expected to provide a meal, usually dinner, and engage with the visitors in a spirit of mutual exchange. Hosts are generally asked to pick up their guests at their hotel and return them there at the end of the evening, but accommodations can sometimes be made for alternative arrangements.
When hosting at your business or organization, you can usually expect a meeting of approximately two hours, in which you talk about your organization and its work and hear from the visitors about their work or the same topic in their home context.
WorldOregon always strives to provide as much information as we can about the visitors before they arrive. Some visitors may have dietary needs, pet allergies, or other restrictions. This information will be provided to you in advance. For overnight hosting, we will also share information about any important medical conditions, medications, or health concerns whenever possible.
We want to show the diversity of U.S. life and U.S. families; we welcome all family compositions and backgrounds. (The only exception is that we would not place visitors overnight with a single host of the opposite gender identity.)
Many visitors speak English, but some groups do not. For overnight hosting, youth visitors are typically placed in a household where at least one member of the family is hospitable in the visitor’s language. Adult overnight guests who do not speak English may be placed in an English-speaking home. For meal hosting, if the visitors do not speak English an interpreter will accompany the visitors for the evening.
Each program is different and will include different activities. Typically, visitors will attend workshops, participate in dialogue sessions and cultural activities, and meet with representatives from local business and organizations to learn more about their work. For overnight hosting, we will share information about the visitors’ itinerary at the host orientation.