Interested in Hosting a Fulbright Scholar? Home Hospitality Background
•What is Home Hospitality vs. Homestay?
There are distinct differences, and what is best for you depends upon your personal situation. Home Hospitality is usually “dinner hospitality” in your home or at a restaurant (we prefer in your home, but understand not everyone can do that). Home Hospitality shows our visitors the more personal side of the U.S. It provides TGA members with a chance to give our international visitors a taste of true local culture. The purpose is to create an American cultural experience by sharing a part of your life with the visitor. Homestay Hosts open their homes to international visitors for anywhere from one night to several weeks. There is no better way to understand cultural differences and similarities than through sharing your home and real American way-of-life with a new non-American friend.
• What’s involved with Home Hospitality?
If you’ve never hosted before, please know that it is meant to be easy, rewarding, and fun! As a host you will:
- Exchange ideas on cultures, customs, current events and other topics of interest
- Provide a modest, typical evening meal for your guests. The meal can take any format you choose (potluck, buffet, sit-down — and during cool weather, cookouts are always fun for visitors!)
- Invite friends, family, or others who might be interested in meeting important and interesting visitors from around the world.
• How do I become a Home Hospitality or Homestay Host?
First you need to be a member and then let us know you want to host! To host TGA’s international visitors, call Bob Lieser, Vice-President of Programming, at (918) 591-4750. Let us know what countries you are particularly interested in, what amount of time you have available, and which type of opportunity suits your personal situation best.
• What’s involved with hosting high school youth leaders?
Click here to find out! Youth Homestay
• What is a Professional Resource?
TGA professional resources provide a vital service to our international visitors by meeting with leaders from other countries in their professional field, exchanging ideas, challenges, successes and making valuable connections. Visitors return home with this information and share it with their wide field of influence. This often becomes a catalyst for strengthening and developing change in their organization, business, or government. The time that a Professional Resource spends with a visitor can have a lasting impact on the world. Our Professional Resources represent many different fields, from community based volunteer organizations, to Fortune 500 companies, to government agencies.
• How much advance notice will I receive about hosting?
It really depends upon the particular situation. Often we have just a week or more to secure either hospitality or homestay hosts. For the Community Connections Program we know a month in advance who the participants will be. However, sometimes we are asked by the U.S. Department of State to help out immediately, even the same day. Once you are a member and are registered with TGA, we will have an idea of the flexibility of your schedule, and work from there. We will always call you as far in advance as possible.
• Are there opportunities to drive visitors?
Yes! TGA is looking for volunteers to greet our visitors at the airport, accompany them to meetings, or drive rental vans for larger groups. This is an important way to promote international understanding and learn about northeastern Oklahoma with them.
• Do visitors come with spending money?
TGA hosts international visitors through a variety of programs, and some of our guests receive per diem from the U.S. State Department or other U.S. government agencies, and are able to purchase lunch, dinner or souvenirs. In other cases, the visitors’ project has a budget for meals and TGA pays for lunch for the visitors as a group. TGA’s International Visitors have a significant benefit for Tulsa’s economy, and in 2012 the total economic impact in Tulsa was $873,658.
• What if I am unable to host, but would like to meet the visitors?
TGA schedules numerous events for our members and visitors to attend. For example, TGA regularly holds Toast the Travelers receptions at the Boulder Grill at the Holiday Inn City Center, located at 17 West 7th Street downtown. Light hors d’oeuvres are provided, and there is a cash bar. In this casual environment you can chat with the guests who happen to be in town that week, and with other internationally-minded Tulsans.