Flyer with flowers advertising the Thanksgiving Host Program

Betty Grimwood Thanksgiving Host Program

2022 marks the 68th year of The Betty Grimwood Thanksgiving Host program at the University of Kansas! Students are invited into the homes of an American family to experience this traditional American holiday. Applications are now open for students to visit an American home for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, November 24, 2022.

Click here to visit an American family for Thanksgiving dinner

Are you an American who would like to host an international student or three for Thanksgiving dinner on November 24, 2022? 

The Betty Grimwood Thanksgiving Host Program at The University of Kansas is coordinated by the department of International Support Services.  It provides international students the opportunity to experience the Thanksgiving holiday with an American family.  For many of these students, this will be their first experience in an American home. The success of the program depends upon families who will extend their hospitality to students from other lands.  These students do not expect to be entertained constantly throughout the holiday.  They simply want to view and experience how Americans celebrate Thanksgiving and everyday life. 

Who Participates?
The international students who sign up may come from any of the nearly 100 different countries represented at the University.  Participants can be of any nationality or age.  Occasionally, a married couple will choose to participate. Most students have no difficulty with the English language; however, there may be a few participants who are here studying English and have a more limited vocabulary.

Why Host International Students for Thanksgiving?
Almost all international students come to the United States with the hope of experiencing the different aspects of American life as well as share their own culture.  This program provides an excellent opportunity for international students to view life from a non-university setting and serve as “ambassadors” for their own cultures and customs.

How Does the Program Work?
-During International Student Orientation, we explain the program and invite interested individuals to apply.  We also advertise the program in various campus and community media.
-We try to match interested students with families of similar interests and requests.
-Families and students will receive general information about each other approximately one week before the scheduled stay.  
-We ask the students to call or email the families to introduce themselves.  Then, we ask the students and families to make direct contact with each other to finalize expected arrival times and locations.
-The family should expect to provide transportation for the student(s). Many international students do not have cars.

How Does A Family Get Involved?
We hope that you are interested in the Homestay Program and would like to host a student!  If so, please click the button below to fill out the application.