Participating in the Odyssey of the Mind Homestay program offers a great opportunity for members of U.S. and international teams to develop friendships and learn about each other’s homes, families and cultures.
Through HomeStay, parents and coaches of an Odyssey team invite an International Team and their coaches to visit their home following the close of World Finals. The World Finals competition is being held at either at Iowa State University (Even Year) or Michigan State University (Odd Year) on week before Memorial Day in May and homestays will be the last week of may or first week of June.
A team interested in participating in HomeStay does not have to advance to World Finals to serve as an international team host. Most of the invitations to host are made before the U.S. teams even compete at the state level. Hosting an international team usually requires two to four families working together to house, feed and provide local transportation. These families are usually parents of team members and their friends. Each family will host two to four people including team members, coaches or chaperones. Homestay Host families provide lodging, meals, some planned activities and local transportation.
Some suggestions for activities: picnics, ball games, swimming, sightseeing, and of course trips to a local shopping mall, the Dollar Store, Target or WalMart. A day at your team’s school is great, but be sure to clear this with the school in advance. Generally Homestays last for 5 to 7 days following World Finals. Transportation costs and arrangements to and from the city of the host family are the responsibility of the international team. Once the international team has arrived in the host’s city, they are dependent on the hosting families for local transportation.
Any Odyssey family interested in hosting an international team should contact the Delaware Homestay Coordinator Christy Stafford at (609) 352-5524 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or the National Homestay Coordinator Tom Scott at email@example.com.