Host Family Program


Fellow and host family at the Holiday Party.

A Home Away from Home

For the last 45 years, families in and around the Williamstown community have hosted fellows from the CDE. Our program is not a homestay program; rather the host family is a link to the larger Williamstown and Williams communities. The main goal of the Host Family program is to provide an opportunity for fellows to meet people in the U.S. and to allow both hosts and students to learn about different cultures and perspectives. The hosts are either individuals or families. The group of hosts is diverse.

The time commitment does not need to be great, but the rewards are often incalculable. The amount of time the host and fellow spend together varies widely, as do the activities, and they depend on the schedules of the participants. It is reasonable to expect that hosts and students get together at least once a month and more frequently at certain times during the year. There are many rewards that come from relationships with community members in another culture. We hope you will not only discover new and valuable friends, but that you will also expand your knowledge of a different culture as well as impart knowledge of your own culture.

About the Host Family Program
  • This is a voluntary program on the part of the CDE fellows who choose to participate and friends within the College or town community.
  • The individual or family a fellow meets through this program does not receive any financial compensation for their participation.
  • The amount of time spent with a host family varies and is decided by mutual agreement.
  • Some examples of some activities that fellows and host families have engaged in are: family dinners, hikes in the area, trips to local shopping areas, political discussions and community meetings, viewing sports events, and observance of various holidays.
  • We will pair each incoming CDE fellow with a host family unless requested not to do so. In general, students have found this program to be enriching, and to their benefit. In some cases, life-long friendships have developed. We encourage your participation in this program.


Enjoying many different dishes at the Host Family Pot Luck dinner, where each host family brings a part of the meal.


Host family and fellow at the Holiday party.