Solana Beach Host Families

Connecting International Students with Local Host Families

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 We are currently accepting applications for the winter term.

Are you coming to UCSD from abroad, and wondering:

  • Who will pick you up at the San Diego airport?

  • How you will adjust to the shock of a new country?

  • Will you be able to meet ‘regular’ Americans and understand their culture?

  • How you’ll get established and prepared for UCSD?

  • What you’ll do for holidays, birthdays, or other family events?

We want to be a welcoming community for you, and connect across cultures. Many of our volunteers have traveled far from home and know the joy of a friendly local face. Our volunteer hosts offer their friendship and their hospitality because they appreciate other cultures, they embrace the notion of welcoming the stranger, and they want to make your arrival in San Diego as easy as possible.

We have a proven track record: we’ve served UCSD international students for over a decade and have placed 826 international visitors from nearly 50 countries with friendly, welcoming hosts. Our passion is for you to experience how American families live and go about their everyday activities, to have a "family away from home", and to share your culture and knowledge with us.

Apply today for a short-term home-stay. We’d love you to be part of our international community.


“This was a priceless experience for me..”

Sara Zare | Graduate Student, Iran


The Solana Beach Host Family Program has been partnering with UCSD for twelve years, offering hospitality and friendship to incoming international students and scholars. Our unpaid, volunteer hosts open their homes and extend a hand in friendship to students during those important first several days that can be challenging and confusing. Volunteers hosts are a diverse group: some are young families with children; some are single; others are young, mid-career or retired couples.

If matched with a host family, you can expect to stay with your host for a short time—perhaps 3 to 6 days. After that you may need to make other arrangements with a friend or at a hostel if your permanent housing is not yet available.

In the school year 2006-2007, we were recognized as the "Organization of the Year" by UCSD when we received the International Center Volunteer Award.

Over the past twelve years we have hosted UCSD students and scholars from 50 countries. We are generally able to find hosts for most applicants but we can’t guarantee placement. The earlier you apply, the better your chance of being matched with a host family. Most placements will be made for the fall term, but some placement is available throughout the year.