Host Family Program


We invite you to have a Host Family at Bowdoin

The Host Family Program at Bowdoin aims to create a home away from home for students of all class years and from as far as Nepal to as near as New Hampshire. The program can help ease the transition to college life for new students, meangingfully connect students and community members, and offer international students and teaching fellows a view of American life and culture. Although international students have priority, the program is open to any Bowdoin student when host families are available.

During the 2013-14 academic year, 250 students were paired with 179 host families in the greater Brunswick area. The individual relationships between families and students involve social get-togethers, outings, meals, phone calls, and companionship. Many students and their host families have become life-long friends. Students remain on campus and do not live with host families.

Read what Host Family participants have to say about the program.

The Host Family Program sponsors six formal programs each year, organized by the Host Family Steering Committee:

  • Welcome Dessert Reception
  • Fall Picnic at the Brunswick coastline
  • Family Weekend reception
  • Massive pot-luck supper
  • Catered, buffet dinner in February
  • "Invite-Your-Family-To-Dine Week" in the dining halls

The Steering Committee consists of several participating host parents and Bowdoin staff and is chaired by Margo and David Knight. The committee arranges the matches between the families and students/teaching fellows from the applications and participates in the events mentioned above. Students who get in touch with us early can be matched with their families so that they are able to correspond with them before they arrive at Bowdoin.

Watch Sarah Wood '14 interview with NBC affiliate WCSH about the Bowdoin Host Family Program.

If you would like to participate in the Host Family program or have questions about it, please contact Administrative Assistant Kathleen King by email,, by phone (207) 725-3879 or Assistant Dean of First-Year Students Michael Wood by email,, by phone (207) 798-4190 or write him at:

Host Family Program
Office of the Dean of Student Affairs
Bowdoin College
4600 College Station
Brunswick, ME 04011-8437

A warm welcome to Bowdoin, to Brunswick and to the State of Maine!