Host Family Program for International Students adapts to the pandemic, inviting people to become Virtual Neighbors.
Host Family, sponsored by the Office of International Education (OIE), is now in its fourth year. Students are paired with CMU community members, and they agree to get together once a month for an academic year. They’ve enjoyed tours of Pittsburgh, visits to museums and sporting events, and meals at home. Many hosts continue to stay in touch with their students after graduation. This year, in response to the pandemic, we’ve adapted Host Family to become Virtual Neighbors: students meet their CMU neighbors over Zoom, email or other socially-distant ways. Fifty people are currently participating in this Virtual Neighborhood. Each month they’re furnished with a “Conversation Kit” that provides ice-breaking questions. Students send in photos, and responses to these questions about their families, holidays, hobbies, and their studies. Soon to come is an “Art Corner” where they will share drawings, photography, calligraphy, etc. It will be a wonderful showcase of our talented and diverse group of international students. It’s so much fun to get to know them!
Christine Asenjo, International Programs Coordinator, Office of International Education. Served previously as assistant to Michael Murphy, Vice President for Campus Affairs. Study Leader, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, offering courses on Hinduism, Sikhism, and Islam in India.
This program is led by Chris Asenjo, International Programs Coordinator within the Office of International Education. She is a longstanding member of the Carnegie Mellon community, serving in many capacities over the years, including working within University Campus Affairs and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.