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Open Doors Host Program Student FAQs
How are matches made?
Matches are made based on the sign-up forms on this website. You will be asked if you have any preferences about your host, but we cannot guarantee that they will be met. We will do our best to match you with someone who meets your preferences, but we also ask that you keep an open mind about who they are. You would receive information about your host during the summer, and would be asked to contact him or her via email. While not required, many program participants offer to meet their students at the airport when they first arrive in the summer.
Is my host expected to drive me around or invite me home for the holidays?
No, but they may generously offer to do so. Participating Open Doors students live in university housing and will be instructed to time their arrival with the opening of the residence halls. Open Doors is not a homestay program. Rather, it is an opportunity to gain some insight into the U.S. culture and to be introduced to Brandeis and the Waltham/Boston area.
What types of activities do participants do together?
Popular activities are cooking together, shopping, getting to know each other at a cafe or even sightseeing in Boston. There is always a lot going on at Brandeis, so you can attend events on campus together as well.
Who are the participants?
Hosts could be Brandeis students, staff members, or faculty members. All hosts have lived in Massachusetts for at least a year, so they are excellent sources of information when making preparations to come to Brandeis. Hosts are more than sources of information though. They will also be a source of support as you transition to Brandeis. They offer students a great opportunity to become acquainted with someone from another part of the world. And in return, hosts will learn about their students' culture!
Students are Brandeis international first-years, coming from a wide range of countries. A first-year could be a transfer student, a student who has participated in the Gateway ESL program at Brandeis, or a brand new student. In the case of transfer students or Gateway students, they have been in the U.S. longer than a brand new student. However, what they all have in common is that it will be their first year in the Brandeis undergraduate program. For expectations, see the question below.
What is expected of me?
What is not expected is for you to stay with your host. This is not a homestay program. What is expected...
First of all, your host will be expecting to meet you at the Beginning of the Year Welcome Reception, so please make every effort to attend. During each semester, interaction between the students and hosts may be infrequent or often, informal or formal depending on the interests or availability of both the students and hosts. In order to get the most out of the experience, though, past participants advise inviting each other to get together twice (or more) per semester.
Even the smallest efforts are appreciated and we hope (but it is not expected) that you will continue to stay in contact after a year. In addition, you are expected to encourage your host participant to attend as many Open Doors events throughout the year as possible. There will also be ISSO events you and your host can attend together.
Lastly, have fun!
What happens if the host/student relationship is not working well?
After the semester begins, you may find yourself very busy with classes and making friends on campus. If you are unable to keep in touch with your host, or if the match does not work well, please contact Open Doors Host Coordinator, Emily Stewart via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone at 781 736 3480 to inform her. Emily will see if the situation can be resolved, or if necessary, she can arrange an alternative match.