Homestays needed for international scholars

Photo of Society for Conservation GIS scholars with their homestay host family.

Photo of Society for Conservation GIS scholars with their homestay host family.

If you have some space in your home between June 14 and July 7 (or even a part of that time), and you enjoy getting to know people from around the world, please consider helping host one or two of the Society for Conservation GIS scholars (SCGIS)!

This summer between 17 and 25 young adult international visitors will be coming to Davis to attend specialized GIS training provided by the Society for Conservation GIS (SCGIS).  These international scholars (usually between the ages of 22 and 40) were selected from a global pool of applicants.  They will be in the US for about five weeks, and for three of those weeks they will need housing in Davis.  This will be the fourth summer that the Davis community has hosted the SCGIS scholars.

Scholars will be in class at UC Davis (in a computer lab) 8-10 hours per day, sometimes including Saturdays, and will often eat meals together after class.  SCGIS will provide them with funds to cover the cost of their food, but because of a limited budget, SCGIS cannot afford hotels. After leaving Davis, the scholars will be attending the Esri International User Conference in San Diego (July 8-12) and then the Society for Conservation GIS annual conference in Monterey (July 14-18). Most will then head home.

This is a fantastic opportunity for cultural exchange.  Lifetime friendships often develop between host families and scholars, and these often include invitations for host family members to visit and stay with the scholars in their home countries. The countries represented by scholars this year (tentatively) include: Uruguay, Laos, DR Congo, Nigeria, Brazil, China, Mexico, Armenia, Philippines, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Argentina, Zambia, Japan, South Africa, and Indonesia.  There are also at least four advanced scholars who may be coming from one or more of these countries: Russia, Cameroon, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay, Madagascar, China, Argentina, and Canada.

It is best if scholars can stay in a guest room (1 or 2 scholars per room), but even a sofa bed in the living room can work if that’s what you have.  Your commitment beyond a place to stay is minimal, but there will be opportunities to join the scholars for some meals and parties throughout their stay.

If this sounds interesting to you, please contact Steve Blum (email: sb17@aol.com or phone: 916.715.4597) or Karen Beardsley (kbeardsley@ucdavis.edu). They will be happy to discuss this in more detail, so please let them know if you have any questions!  Also feel free to pass this along to others you know who may be interested.

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