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Host Family Program: home away from home for Millikin international students

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Millikin University strives to have an impact on students all over the world and it's starting right here with its Host Family Program, where students are paired with families to help them adjust to living away from home.

From France to Chile students from all over the world are coming right here to Millikin University to advance their education. And outside of the classroom they're also building relationships through the Host Family Program.

"They understand what I need," said Hien Nguyen an international student. "Sometimes I'm a little bit homesick but they cheer me up a lot."

For Nguyen home is in Vietnam, but Pej and Bill Clark have become like her family away from home.

"Having hien is like having another daughter that we can share time with, think of things that she might enjoy doing in the community," Pej said.

Millikin has allowed Nguyen to combine her love for business and music as a Music Business major.

"I love music since I was very young so I wanted to do something about music," Nguyen said.

For Tom Pardo and his host family it's been mostly food, not music, that's brought him and his host family together.

"I think one of the funniest parts has been tom's understanding of leftovers because they don't really do that over there," said Alexa Hamilton, a member of Pardo's host family.

And the most different part for Pardo over here?

"I think it's the food. But I am not lying because I like the junk food here. It's very nice to eat like burgers and pizza," Pardo said.

It's also nice to be a part of a big family here.

"I got now two sisters, three dogs and one cat and it's really funny. We have a lot of fun together. It's really nice," he said.

The university has 37 international students from 16 different countries studying here. And seven families are participating in the program.

If you or someone you know wants to get involved in Millikin's Host Family Program. You can contact its Center for International Education or email CIE@Millikin.edu.

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