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University Relations

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October 24, 2005
Contact: Viviana Yaluk, International Student and Scholar Services, (785) 864-3617.

Thanksgiving Homestay seeks host families for KU international students

LAWRENCE -- The University of Kansas International Student and Scholar Services office is seeking interested families to participate in the Betty Grimwood Thanksgiving Homestay Program. The program provides students an opportunity to experience the Thanksgiving holiday with an American family.

Area families are needed as hosts for one or more international students from Tuesday evening, Nov. 22, to Sunday afternoon, Nov. 27. Families are also needed Thursday only to provide Thanksgiving dinner to one or more international students.

This marks the 51st year Kansas and Kansas City area families will celebrate Thanksgiving with international student guests from KU. The homestay program was named in honor of the late Betty Grimwood, a Burns resident who helped to organize homestay visits in Burns, about 60 miles northeast of Wichita, from 1954 through 1998. Following her death in May 1999, friends and relatives of Mrs. Grimwood continued the community tradition of inviting international students from KU for the holiday weekend.

Last year 24 families and 31 students participated in the program. As of spring 2005, a total of 1,615 international students were enrolled at KU from 109 countries. The 10 countries with the greatest number of students are:

- India, 236
- China (including Hong Kong and Macau), 201
- Korea, Republic of, 167
- Japan, 127
- Taiwan, 65
- Saudi Arabia, 59
- Canada, 41
- Italy, 38
- Malaysia, 35
- Brazil, 31

In past years host families from these communities in Kansas and Missouri have participated: Baldwin City, Basehor, Burlington, Burns, Chanute, DeSoto, Eudora, Eureka, Garnett, Girard, Herington, Independence, Kansas City, Lawrence, Leavenworth, Leawood, Lecompton, Lenexa, Linwood, Lyons, Madison, Marian, Merriam, Newton, Olathe, Overbrook, Overland Park, Peabody, Prairie Village, Roeland Park, Sedgwick, Shawnee, Silver Lake, Tonganoxie, Topeka, Valley Falls, Westwood, Whitewater and Wichita in Kansas; and Drexel, El Dorado Springs, Florissant, Gladstone, Grandview, Hardin and St. Louis in Missouri.

To apply for the program, families and students can contact Viviana Yaluk, program coordinator, KU International Student and Scholar Services, (785) 864-3617, or e-mail her at


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus. | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045