Open Doors Host Program

A group of smiling people sit together on the grass

The Open Doors Host Program is designed to help incoming first-year international students make a smooth transition into life as a student at Brandeis. To help new students feel welcome and supported, we match incoming students with a member of the Brandeis community who serves as a "host" for the student's first semester at Brandeis. It is our hope that participants will enjoy their relationship with each other so much that they will continue to stay in contact after the first semester.

Who are the Participants?

Hosts are members of the Brandeis community: upperclassman students, alumni, staff or faculty. The majority of them have lived in the Brandeis area for at least a year, and are an excellent source of information for making preparations for life at Brandeis. Open Doors hosts are more than just sources of information; they also offer a great opportunity to gain some insight into U.S. 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 participated in Brandeis' Gateway Scholars Program, or a brand new undergraduate or graduate student.

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Student Expectations
  • After you receive your host's name and email, you should email them. Please make sure you are in contact before the semester begins.
  • You are expected to attend the Open Doors Welcome Dinner and Orientation in September, where you will meet your host. If you are unable to attend, communicate with your host to arrange an alternate time to meet or email the ISSO if you need help.
  • In order to get the most out of the experience, we advise participants to invite one another to get together twice (or more) per semester. You are also encouraged to attend as many ISSO events throughout the semester as possible.
  • The commitment is at least for your first semester at Brandeis, but it is our hope that you will continue to stay in contact with each other.
  • Please remember that it is not appropriate to ask your host to provide housing, pick you up from the airport, drive you around, or invite you home for the holidays. However, your host may generously decide to do so.
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Host Expectations
  • After your student receives your name and email over the summer, they will email you. Please make sure you are in contact before the semester begins.
  • You are expected to attend the Open Doors Welcome Dinner and Orientation in September, where your student will be expecting to meet you. If you are unable to attend, communicate with your student to arrange an alternate time to meet or email the ISSO if you need help.
  • In order to get the most out of the experience, we advise participants to invite one another to get together twice (or more) per semester. As students get busy with their studies and other activities, you may need to be proactive in initiating getting together. Enjoy getting to know your student!
  • The commitment is for the student's first semester at Brandeis, but it is our hope that you will continue to stay in contact with each other.
As hosts, please remember that you are volunteers. Although you may generously decide to do so, you are not expected to provide housing for your student, pick your student up at the airport, drive them around, or invite them home for the holidays.
In addition, the program is not meant to be:
  • A time for you to proselytize with the intent to convert. If you have any questions about what is or is not acceptable, please email the ISSO.
  • An advising service. Note that you are not expected to function as academic advisors or counselors. If your students have questions that you cannot answer, please refer them to the ISSO.

Brandeis only acts as a liaison and is not responsible for the conduct of the parties involved.