Why Join Christmas International House?


International Students attending CIH will experience Christmas with an American community and get to know a new area of the United States.  CIH allows students to develop life-changing friendships with their American hosts and other international students taking part in the program.  Participants will get to experience the Christmas holiday with an American host family and gain in depth experience of American culture and holiday traditions. 

All CIH Programs are sponsored by a nonprofit community organization who coordinates and hosts the local program (often a church).  Students will stay with a host family or in group housing and participate in group activities with other international students in the program and with the American hosts.  (Some programs are a combination of a group stay and a home stay.)  Most often, students will spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with their host family, and participate in organized activities during the week days of the program (while the hosts may be at work).


The group activities, organized by the program director, may include touring experiences of the local area, such as sight-seeing, guided tours, and visits to museums, parks, and cultural places of interest. Some activities may be Christmas themed such as holiday concerts, Christmas church services (always optional to attend), and Christmas parties where you can interact with Americans and join our holiday celebrations. Some activities may include: singing Christmas carols, decorating Gingerbread houses, cookie decorating, and eating holiday food. 


All activities are designed to offer hospitality to international students during the winter break and to share our Christmas celebrations with the goal of growing cross-cultural understanding and friendship.  


Past participants have said that their perspectives were changed and eyes opened to what Americans are really like and they come away understanding much better what Christmas means to their hosts.



Reasons to Join CIH: 

  • Make American and international student friends
  • Experience American culture and food as the guest of a host community
  • Get to know a new metropolitan area of the United States
  • Learn how Americans celebrate Christmas
  • Spend Christmas inside an American home with a family (may or may not have children)
  • Practice your English with Americans and international friends
  • Get to know Americans over the Christmas holiday and international students from around the world