Main Content

Home Away from Home

What is HAFH?

Home Away From Home (HAFH) is a program designed to connect international students at Abilene Christian University with families in the Abilene community. HAFH is not a home stay program nor are there any financial obligations/sponsorships involved and participation is purely voluntary. Participating families and students spend time with each other at least once a month at organized events or personally planned activities with the hope to provide our international students with a first hand experience of what it’s like to be a part of an American family and to have a place that they can call home away from home. This in turn also gives families in the community the opportunity to learn about the student’s culture and home country.

Am I eligible to participate?


Married couples with or without kids, as well as Single Parents are welcome to participate as host families. We especially encourage families who are interested in learning about other cultures to take part in this program! Please note that families must be able to commit to the entirety of the 2019-2020 school year.


The HAFH program is open to all ACU International Students, including American Citizens who have grown up overseas (TCK’s). Students must be able to commit to meeting with their HAFH family at least once a month for the duration of the 2019-2020 school year. If you’re looking for a great way to get acquainted with family life in America, this is the program for you!

How do I sign up?

If you are interested in participating in the HAFH program for the 2019-2020 school year, please fill out the respective application form below and someone will be in touch with you shortly after.

If you have any questions, feel free to email us at

Student Testimonies

“My experience with ACU has been better than what I expected and that is because I was emotionally, spiritually, academically supported by my host parents on every step of the way.”

-Amen Mugisha, Rwanda

“I have had have incredible times in the US with my host family. The first thing I like about my host family is the food. They cook really good food, which I enjoy every time I am with them…I also enjoy playing with their kids, who are a blessing. Very nice kids with good manners.”

-Felix Mbikogbia, South Sudan


Will students be living with their HAFH family?

No. The HAFH program is not a home stay program. HAFH families and their students are encouraged to spend time together at least once a month through various activities.

What is the time commitment?

Families and students are asked to communicate regularly through email or phone conversations as well as to spend time with each other at least once a month throughout the duration of the entire 2019-2020 school year.

How much does it cost?

There is no cost involved to participate in the HAFH program. Participation is completely voluntary. Families have no financial obligations nor compensation and students are not required to pay any sort of program fee. There may however be occasional personal expenses as families are not obligated to pay for their student’s stuff. If families take their students out, students must be prepared to pay for their own things, unless the family offers to pay.

What are the requirements to participate?

Students must be currently enrolled at Abilene Christian University for the 2019-2020 school year and willing/able to meet with their HAFH family at least once a month.

Families must reside within the Abilene community, be willing/able to communicate regularly with their student and spend time with them at least once a month throughout the entire school year.

Interested families and students must complete an application form (links above) to participate.

What happens after I fill out the application?

After you have filled out the application, the information you have given us will be used to match you with an American family/student that fits your preferences. After which, you will receive an email with more detailed information on when and where you will be meeting your family/student.

If there are not enough applicants to pair you with a family/student, you will be put on a wait list until one is available.