HOST a Medical Student
Through the Help Our Students Travel program, known as HOST, the UCSF Medical Alumni Association (MAA) and its alumni volunteers help offset the financial burden of traveling for residency interviews by offering students free housing in the vicinity of their interview sites.
The HOST program matches alumni across the country with fourth-year medical students who are seeking information about residency training programs. Many alumni offer to host a student (and their partner) for a one- or two-day stay, typically during the months of October through January.
As an alumni host, you can offer the benefit of your own experiences, providing an insider’s view of the medical profession, your specialty, and the area in which you live or practice. In turn, you have an opportunity to learn firsthand from a student about the new endeavors your alma mater is embarking upon.
Alumni: Sign up to host a student.
Students: Request a HOST placement.
I’m a student. Is the HOST Program right for me?
The HOST Program is more than a free place to stay. The hosts who volunteer for the program are a welcoming face in a new place, a source of great information about the local area, and a resource for information about residency programs. And, as UCSF alum, they are often eager to talk about UCSF and the School of Medicine.
If you’d like to save money and connect with UCSF School of Medicine alumni, this program is for you!
Can my spouse travel with me?
Many hosts welcome significant others. Please note on your registration form that you will be traveling with your spouse/partner.
Who are the HOST volunteers?
All of our hosts are UCSF Medical Alumni – they have attended UCSF for their medical education and/or for their residencies and fellowships.
Where are hosts located?
We aim to offer hosts near all potential residency locations across the country, but most of our alums live in Los Angeles, Seattle, and Boston.
What can I expect from my host?
Hosts are asked to provide overnight accommodations in their home, but many go above and beyond by providing transportation to and from the interviews and airport, home cooked meals, guided tours of the area, and invaluable insights on the regional medical community.
How far in advance should I contact my host?
We ask students to contact their host as soon as their contact information has been shared. If you are matched early, contact your host right away and once again when it gets closer to the date of your travel.
Although the host has agreed have you, it is best they hear from you as soon as possible so they have an idea of your travel plans and can plan their schedule accordingly.
What happens if the interview is cancelled or rescheduled?
Students should contact their hosts as soon as possible to share details about any changes in travel plans.
Do I need to do anything after the visit is over?
Be sure to send your host a thank you note or email. The program also requests that you take a photo of yourself with the host family to submit to the MAA. Students and hosts will also be asked to complete an online evaluation of their HOST program experience.
How do I get in contact with my host/student?
The MAA will inform the student of the match and will share the host’s contact information. It is then up to the student to promptly contact the host, share travel and interview details, and arrange his or her stay.
The host will have been given the student’s name, and will be expecting to hear from him or her. We ask our students to contact our hosts as soon as they are matched.
When do the visits take place?
Most residency interviews occur during the months of October through January.
Am I guaranteed a HOST student or HOST spot?
We hope to match all of our volunteers with traveling students, but we do not know students’ travel needs. We will make placements to prioritize proximity to interview sites as well as to match similarities in specialty.
How many times a year can I host?
You are welcome to host as often as your schedule allows.