New Zealand Student Shares Her Experience in the FFIS Homestay Program

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The FFIS Homestay Program matches University of Oregon international students with local community volunteers for a short-term homestay when the student first arrives in Lane County, Oregon. Volunteers open their hearts and home to young adults far from home, helping them to get oriented and settled. The friendships built during that brief period often last well beyond when the student has returned to their native country. Homestay families have created many fond memories for the students that they’ve hosted.

Read what this student from New Zealand had to say about her FFIS homestay experience:

Patricia was the most wonderful host I could ever have wished for. She went above and beyond what might have been expected as a host mom. It wasn’t long after she first picked me up from the train station, with her dog Shambhala, that she became not only my host, but also my good friend.

Our first stop when I arrived was a tour of the Eugene Saturday Market. Over the next few nights we shared many dinners at local restaurants, as well as staying in and enjoying delicious home-cooked food and a glass of wine. She took pride in showing me the best parts of Eugene. Patricia let me stay with her longer than expected, as it took me a while to sort out a place to live. She made me feel completely welcome and relaxed throughout my stay with her. 

Patricia’s kindness and friendship did not stop when I left her house and moved into my own apartment. She lent a bike and helmet to me during my whole semester there. When I moved out, she provided me with sheets, pillows, a comforter, blankets, towels and a lamp, all of which I borrowed from her house.

She supported me throughout my time in Eugene. When I was feeling down, she would always be there for me. She was genuinely one of the best friends I made on my whole trip, and I value her friendship dearly.

I would like to say thank you to Patricia for showing me the best of Eugene. I hope we will continue to be friends, and hopefully see each other again, either in the USA or New Zealand – where she certainly has a place to stay!!

The FFIS Homestay Program is for incoming University of Oregon international students for the fall, winter, and spring terms.  If you’d like to host an international student in FFIS’ Homestay Program, contact Becky Megerssa, UO Liaison, at 541-346-1436 or

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Rick Obst is an Arizona native who moved to Eugene, Oregon in 2005 and fell in love with the verdant Pacific Northwest.  He enjoys photography and discovering the many people, places, and events that make this part of the world so special.

To learn more about Eugene, Lane County, and western Oregon, visit 365 and More Things to do in Lane County, Oregon on Facebook.  You'll see hundreds of pictures and links to discover the beauty and attractions of this special area.


Comments (2)

Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Rick,

People in the US & especially your neck of the woods are so nice, friendly & helpful. I am not surprised this student got a good impression of this country as a result. Did she have a Cox Orange apple at the farmer's market? Yours is the only one, that I have ever seen them at.

Oct 22, 2018 03:07 PM