International Student Host Program

The Holy Family Catholic High School International Student Program is aligned with the school’s vision, mission, values, and core purpose.

In addition to these foundational elements, the International Student Program at HFCHS fosters the development of global consciousness through enhanced student diversity and unique cross-cultural learning opportunities. The result is the promotion of intercultural competence and a truly comprehensive education.

Our International Student Program Philosophy

  • We believe that we serve and honor God by welcoming and evangelizing to all students through our witness as a loving, compassionate, and caring educational community.
  • We believe that embracing a diverse global community calls us to create and model an integrated, dynamic, and empathetic learning environment.
  • We believe all students, through the exposure to, and interaction within a globally diverse student population, grow in their sense of personal responsibility as citizens and leaders of the world.
  • We believe that successful school programs are inclusive, open to modeling compassion, and prepare students for the changing world by cultivating the skills of creativity, critical thinking, effective communication and problem solving.
  • We believe that we, at Holy Family Catholic High School, can offer an impactful global educational experience for students that could not otherwise be attained without embracing the presence and contributions of our international brothers and sisters.

Our Host Family Program

The International Student Program at HFCHS fosters the development of global consciousness through enhanced student diversity and unique cross-cultural learning opportunities. The result is the promotion of intercultural competence and a truly comprehensive education.

Host families are one of the most essential pillars of any strong and successful international student program. Holy Family Catholic High School encourages you to bring the world into your home and community. Our International Student Program provides families with the opportunity to learn about new cultures, create invaluable memories, and become ambassadors of our amazing country. With this experience, your family will enhance its cultural perspectives and awareness, while sharing your language and everyday lives.

All types of families who can provide a warm, welcoming home environment to an international student are encouraged to apply. Empty nesters, families with teenagers and/or younger children and single parents or couples with no children will receive the fundamental support from our International Student Office. We will work side-by-side with the host families so that they have a great experience and connections that will last a lifetime.

Our partner agencies and HFCHS will hand-pick international students who will maintain high academic standards, positive attitudes, and the desire to foster mutual understanding and respect.

What is required?

  • Families need to be able to provide a separate bed (student may share a bedroom with a host sibling of the same gender).
  • Families need to provide two meals a day during school days and three meals per day during non-school days.
  • Families need to provide a supportive environment during the international student’s school adjustment process.
  • Families need to help students adapt to Minnesota, our community, as well as to your home rules and expectations, always keeping in mind that cultural differences might affect the way an international student reacts or behaves.
  • Families need to provide a safe home environment.

A room and board stipend is paid by the international student’s family through the referring agency to the host family. If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, please contact Jorge Oconitrillo, International Student Program Coordinator at oconitrillojo@hfchs.org

 

Jorge Oconitrillo

International Student Program Coordinator

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Jorge Oconitrillo

Jorge Oconitrillo brings a wealth of knowledge and extensive experience in international travel and education to his role as our International Program Coordinator. Before Holy Family, Mr. Oconitrillo walked in the footsteps of those students whom we welcome from abroad, when he attended Bemidji State University, Bemidji, MN, and Concordia College in Moorhead, MN on an international student visa. After being hired as a Spanish Instructor at Concordia College years later, he was responsible for preparing and advising students who were bound to travel abroad. He is a frequent international traveler, individually and with high school and college students. In addition to his numerous roles at Holy Family Catholic High School, Mr. Oconitrillo is also an independent travel consultant for high school and college groups traveling to Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, and Spain. For the past 12 years, he has welcomed student groups from Seville, Spain for an immersion experience at Holy Family Catholic High School.