About the Community Hosting and Homestay Program
The Community Hosting and Homestay Program is a signature program of the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, designed to enrich your intersession week extra-curricular experiences. Through this program, each of our students are matched with a Community Host – volunteer individuals and families passionate about their local communities.
These Community Hosts will partner with you and help you become ingrained into your Learning Community Placements in Everett, Spokane, the Tri-Cities and Vancouver through Community Nights, Community Connections, Local Exposure Activities and Homestays.
COMMUNITY NIGHTS: BUILD FELLOWSHIP
Each Intersession Week, all Community Hosts and students are invited to a gathering Wednesday night from 6–8 p.m. This gathering provides a social space for all Hosts and students, and highlights various organizations, events, venues or opportunities within the local community. Dinner is provided.
COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS: EXPAND THE LOCAL NETWORK
Community Hosts work with students to identify and coordinate introductions with individuals who can help further their personal or professional interests. The goal is to create a network that will help advocate for students’ goals. Community Hosts are asked to arrange one Community Connection each intersession.
LOCAL EXPOSURE ACTIVITIES: BROADEN KNOWLEDGE OF THE ASSIGNED LEARNING COMMUNITY
Our Hosts act as guides to help students explore the locale. Community Hosts discuss shared passions and interests with students, and plan activities that highlight opportunities within the local community that reflect shared passions and interests. These activities could be as simple as dining at a favorite restaurant, or more involved such as organizing a hike or attending the game of a local sports team. Community Hosts are asked to arrange at least one Local Exposure Activity each intersession.
HOMESTAYS: PROVIDE A PLACE OF REST
For all students travelling outside of Spokane for the Intersession Week, Community Hosts provide a homestay. Homestay arrangements guarantee a private bedroom, quiet study space, and access to a kitchen. Students who have family obligations or significant others in their assigned Learning Community placement can contact the Community Hosting Coordinator to discuss alternate arrangements.
“I am not from the Tri-Cities, so I love the Hosting Program because only through it do I actually know someone in the Tri-Cities! Driving down for the intersession weeks hasn’t seemed as scary because I know I’m going to a home and not a hotel room. I look forward to getting to see my host family and they have been the best resource for teaching me about the community from the perspective of a family that experiences it day-to-day. They are so generous in taking care of me and it’s a nice relief to know I can direct my focus on all of the school and clinical work of intersession week.”
– Hannah Winters, Tri-Cities Learning Community Student
“I didn’t grow up in Vancouver, so having a family to stay with has been a great way to get connected to the community and to get to know the area. On my first night in Vancouver, they took me on a tour of the city. They showed me where all my clinical sites were, the local highlights, and best places to get coffee. If I was on my own to find that out, it would have taken me weeks.”
– Alex Franke, Vancouver Learning Community Student
“My host family consistently shows that there is no limit to the good that you can do for those around you. In their volunteering for this program, their kindness to me, and the way that they interact with my fellow students and the people of this community, I’ve seen a wealth of care demonstrated toward others. I hold that lesson in equal value to my classroom experiences as it is the kind of doctor, and citizen, I hope to be.”
– Brent Conrad, Spokane Learning Community Student
“I feel incredibly grateful to have bonded with my host family. I never expected to find hosts, a mentor, and loved ones all in one place. Having worked in the medical field themselves, my host parents and I bond over how similar our experiences have been. Sometimes the best remedy after a long day of medical school is returning to an actual home and having a home-cooked meal.”
– Kimberly Huynh, Everett Learning Community Student
Community Hosting Coordinator
NOTE: All current students are provided with a comprehensive informational packet for their participation in the Community Hosting and Homestay Program. If you are a current student and you have lost this packet, please contact Kyle Holbrook for a replacement.
If you are interested in becoming a Community Host, or if you know someone who may be interested in becoming one, learn more.