Share Your Table for Thanksgiving
Make new friends, provide a home-cooked meal to students far from home, and introduce international students to the great American holiday of Thanksgiving! The Smith School seeks faculty, staff, and alumni in the Washington/suburban Maryland/northern Virginia area to host international students, as well as American students who can’t go home, for Thanksgiving dinner. To participate, please complete the form (below). Please sign up only if you are absolutely certain you are available to host.

Host Frequently Asked Questions

1. When should hosts expect to hear back from Smith School staff with updates about the program and information about pairings?
Pairings with students will be emailed to hosts the week of November 11th.

2. What are best practices in regards to contacting paired students about the date, time and location of the host family's Thanksgiving dinner?
We suggest that once you have been paired, that you reach out to your pairings confirming the date, location, and time of your Thanksgiving dinner within 48 hours. If you have indicated that your dinner is on a date other than Thanksgiving, we have made sure to only pair you with students who are available on that date.

3. Are hosts able to request international students or American students attending their dinner from a specific country or state?
Preferred pairings can not be guaranteed. The coordinators of similar programs at peer institutions tell us that randomized pairings have been a great success as they allow students from a variety of countries, departments, and cultural backgrounds to meet outside of their normal classes and university events.

4. What about dietary restrictions?
When we pair students with you, we will ask them to notify hosts if they have any food allergies or restrictions. As host, you are also welcome to initiate this conversation.

5. If hosts do not live in the College Park area, or are not Metro accessible, are hosts required to provide transportation?
Hosts are not required to provide transportation. There is a question regarding transportation in the registration survey.

Intercultural Communications
- Some international students have lived in the United States for several years. Some came to the US and Maryland for the first time in August, so American customs may be new for some guests.
- Some guests may not feel comfortable being singled out. It’s best to include them in your conversations and activities without making them the focus.
- While Americans value egalitarianism, your guests may be more familiar with hierarchical social structures. Don’t be surprised if they are very formal in their interactions. You are the host, so they may wait for you to invite them into conversations and activities.
- Not all cultures are as expressive as American culture. If your guests are quiet, that doesn’t mean they aren’t having a good time.

The Share Your Table program is completely voluntary and is based upon mutual trust between the host family and the student. The University of Maryland and the Smith School do not take responsibility for any incident rising from the exchange.


Questions? Contact
Full Name: *
Email: *
Phone Number: *
Complete Address (street, apartment #, city, state, zip) *
How are you affiliated with the Smith School? *
Will you have children at your Thanksgiving dinner? *
If yes, please give an estimate of the number and their ages:
Will there be a pet in your home? *
If yes, what type of pet?
My Thanksgiving dinner will be on: *
How many student guests can you accommodate at your Thanksgiving dinner? *
Are you able to provide transportation to students who don't have a car? *
Why are you interested in hosting?
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