International Scholars Program

The International Scholars Program, supports students to help develop the sophisticated level of English needed to actively engage in the challenging liberal arts education Pitzer offers. International Scholars are admitted as regular, full-time students with the requirement of completing advanced English courses as part of their undergraduate studies. Click here to learn more about applying to Pitzer as an International Scholar.

Hosting Family Program

Pitzer College in Claremont invites you to share your home with a Japanese student from Kobe Women’s University. Students are participants in an academic program organized by Pitzer including classes, field trips, and activities. They spend evenings and weekends with their host families. Families are compensated.

If you are interested, please contact Todd Sasaki, International Programs Office, at 909-621-8308.

  • Who are the Host Families?

    Host families are local families with spare bedrooms and a desire to meet students from Japan. Households have included families with school age children, working couples whose children are away at college, single career women, and retired couples. Families with grown children or without kids of their own love hosting too. Having a Japanese student in your home provides a great way to stay involved with your community.

    There are incredible personal rewards to being a host family. Host families and their student will try new foods, learn about special holiday traditions, play new games, and learn about music, art, and crafts together. Just by opening your home, you have the power to make every day extraordinary for you, your family, and a student from Japan.

    Host families often become so fond of their students that they form lifelong friendships, even traveling to the students’ home countries to visit and meet their families and to experience what their daily lives are like.

  • Who are the Students?

    Most of the students we place with host families are Japanese and range in age from 19 to 22. They come from Kobe Women’s University to learn English and American culture and to participate in academic language programs organized by Pitzer College. Students stay with a family for two to three weeks.

  • Host Family Responsibilities


    • Host families are expected to provide a private room for the student with basic furnishings including a bed, desk, lamp, dresser and a closet.


    • Students will eat breakfast and dinner during the week and weekend meals at home with their host family. Lunch during the week will be provided for them at the school.


    • We ask the host families to provide transportation for the student to campus in the morning and home from Pitzer at the end of the day.

    Handling a Student’s Illness  

    • All students will be covered by medical insurance. Each student will carry an information card, giving the name of the health care provider, policy number, and contact number. In the case of a medical emergency please arrange for whatever immediate care is necessary and then contact our staff as soon as possible.

    Activities with your Student 

    • As a member of your household, we hope your student will be able to go with you on shopping trips, sporting events, parties, out to eat or even on short weekend trips, just as you would take any member of your family. While appreciated, it is not necessary to plan special or costly outings your family would not normally do. Just like your children, your student may need to study or rest some days. Some students attend religious services with their host families, many do not. What you do for fun on the weekend is up to you and your student.

    Solving Host Family and Student Differences  

    • There will be times when you may feel an action the student has taken is inappropriate. It is important to be able to communicate your feelings to the student. In cases where host families are confused on handling a problem, they can contact the Pitzer program representative for assistance. We have many years of experience in teaching and counseling international students.


  • Advantages of becoming a host family

    The advantages of hosting a Japanese student are limitless. From the exposure to another culture to the rewarding sense of fulfillment, here are some of the reasons to open your home to a Japanese student.

    Personal and Familial Development

    • Be it travel, school or work, foreign interaction with diverse cultures is a part of life. When individuals and families open their homes to students, personal development is inevitable. Familiarization with another race, culture and ethnicity expands the mind. It offers the entire family a study on how to be adaptive to intercultural interactions and demonstrates how different yet similar we all are.

    New Found Respect and Understanding

    • Once hosts open their homes to students, a natural family-like relationship transpires between the student and the host family. Learning about another person’s culture and interests represents an understanding of the world as seen through the student. By opening your door, you open a student’s eyes to the real America: real people, real experiences, and real life. At the same time, your generosity of spirit creates a positive view of the United States that crosses borders—and lasts a lifetime.

    Inspires New Language Possibilities

    • Learning another language as a host family can be a lot of fun. Children in host families—even adult children—develop and expand analytical skills and even improve their English when they compare English and Japanese. As globalization redefines the world we live in, learning a new language is a rapidly growing asset in the business world. It can be beneficial for both a host and their family. When children are exposed to Japanese students, they can learn the fun and simplicity of learning a new language.

    Lifelong Acquaintance

    • At the conclusion of a student’s stay, many host families and students remain long-term friends. Saying good-bye represents only the next phase of the newly developed, lifelong relationship.

    Learn More about their World

    • Hosting is an excellent way to learn about the world without leaving home. Host families can learn Japanese phrases, get personal insight into the world beyond their backyards, learn to do origami, and even become excellent international cooks! Living with a student from another culture is an education in itself.

    Have Fun

    • Host families and students laugh. A lot. Whether giggling over the mispronunciation of words or sharing students’ excitement about newfound joys, host families have a tremendous amount of fun.

    Change the World

    • Most important is the rewarding sense of fulfillment you will experience as a host family, knowing that you have played a key part in helping a young person achieve his or her dream. It is only normal to feel that you’ve added a new son or daughter to your family, even if only for a short while. And while the visit may end, the relationship will endure across time and distance. It’s a cliche, but it’s true: when you host a student, you gain the power to change the world, one student at a time.
  • Myths on hosting a student

    There are innumerous misnomers, myths and misconceptions about being a host family for a Japanese student. While the opportunity may seem exciting, a little extra effort is needed to assure a comfortable stay for both the student and the host family.

    Myth #1: Host families must speak the student’s native language—fluently.

    • On the contrary, the goal is for your student to practice speaking English with you and your family in a friendly and informal manner in order to enhance what they are learning in class. The level of English proficiency of the students varies from intermediate to advanced. If your student has difficulty understanding you, speak a little more slowly but keep your speech grammatically complete.

    Myth #2: Host families become the student’s legal guardian during their stay.

    • A student’s natural parents are always considered the legal guardians of the student. During, the student’s stay with a host family, the student’s parents are legally responsible for the student. The only major task the host family may have to take on is if the student becomes ill. Each student will carry an information card, giving the name of their health care provider, policy number, and contact number In the case of a medical emergency please arrange for whatever immediate care is necessary and then contact our staff as soon as possible.

    Myth #3: Host families are financially responsible for the student’s expenses.

    • Some students have very little spending money. Others will surprise you with the amount of spending money they have. When planning an outing with your student, please tell them if you expect them to cover certain expenses (cost of meal, admission ticket, hotel room) or if you will pay for some or all expenses. The student may need to decide whether or not they can afford to go with you.

    Myth #4: Host families are required to placate every whim of the student.

    • The role of the student in your home is one of guest and family member. The students are expected to act responsibly – just like the other members in one’s home. Students should adapt to their host family’s lifestyle and activities as well as house rules. Because the student is being hosted for academic purposes opposed to a vacation, the student program necessitates both effort and work to enable learning.
  • Tips for a Successful Experience


    • Sharing cultures means sharing in all the excitement of life. The more enthusiastic you and your family are, the better the experience will be for everyone involved.


    • Your student will require heartfelt support while he or she lives and learns far from home. Everything is new and with that comes both excitement and concern.


    • You will demonstrate your desire to make your student part of the family by taking the same interest in his or her academic and social experiences as you would those of your own children.


    • A new family member will lead to new challenges for you and your family. It is essential that you remain flexible while new dynamics emerge in your home, setting firm rules but also remaining patient and understanding. Depending on your daily routine, hosting a student may mean a couple more trips in the car, or a few extra helpings at the dinner table. Year after year, however, our host families say that the hardest thing about hosting is having to say goodbye!

    If you have any other questions, please contact Todd Sasaki, International Programs Office, at 909-621-8308.