group of smiling international students

Vaccination Information for Student Housing

The following recommendations are based on CDC Guidelines and may change. For the most up to date requirements, please contact our Residence Life Staff by emailing

Pierce College is currently requiring all students to be vaccinated with exemptions for religious or medical reasons. For full details, review our Vaccinated Campus page.  Residence Life staff will be contacting each individual housing applicant after the initial application to verify status, request additional documents, and/or to arrange quarantine after international arrivals.

International Travel and Quarantine


If fully vaccinated with an FDA approved vaccine or vaccine authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization, students should self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and have a viral test 3 - 5 days after travel. Find testing locations. If the test is positive or the student develops any symptoms, quarantine will be required.  If vaccinated, all homestay students will need to wear a mask in any shared space in the home until they have a negative test days 3 - 5 after international arrival. All residents at CGS will be required to wear a mask in common spaces regardless of vaccination status.


Unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated students will need to complete a quarantine after arriving. Students will need to remain in their designated quarantine location for up to 10 days after arrival. At days 3 - 5, housing students may choose to take a COVID-19 viral test and with a negative test be released from quarantine on day 7. Find testing locations. If students are not tested on days 3 - 5 and have no symptoms, they will need to complete a full 10 day quarantine from the date of arrival. If students develop any COVID-19 symptoms, they will need to quarantine for a full 10 - 14 days after arrival date or onset of symptoms and/or follow guidance given by local, state, or US government entities.

Housing Options

Pierce College has a variety of housing options:

Pierce College Center for Global Scholars (CGS) Residence Hall

CGS is a traditional campus housing option that is great for both domestic and international students age 17 years old and older. CGS offers student independence while maintaining a fun student-focused community to live and learn together. It’s a safe residential housing facility with events/programs and a 24/7 live-in staff support that provides opportunities to create meaningful relationships that support student’s academic success and personal development. CGS is located next to a bus stop and is an 8 minute bus ride to the Fort Steilacoom campus. CGS has no meal service, but provides a community kitchen for student use. It’s less than a 5 minute walk to grocery stores, restaurants, Starbucks and a Dollar store.

The success of CGS lies in the success and overall experience of the residents, and the implementation of the 3 Core Themes of CGS are used as guiding pillars to all interactions at CGS, including interaction with one another, this space, the activities, staff members, and the greater campus community. 

  • Contribution: Bringing about results and helping to advance one another
  • Community: Living together to practice common ownership
  • Consideration: Careful thought and sensitivity towards others

There is a one-time Application Fee of $100 and an Administrative Fee of $200. An annual renewal fee of $100 is assessed when students continue their contract year to year. Fees are non-refundable except in rare circumstances outlined in the Housing Agreement.

Visit the Pierce College Residence Hall web page for more information and how to apply.


Homestay is a wonderful experience for most international students; however, it is not designed for all students. International students (16 years and older) who still would like the support, encouragement and experiences of living with an American family will do well in homestay.

This is a cultural experience, and students should expect to become a member of the family, which means participation in the daily activities of the family (meals, family time, chores), daily communication about their day and about where they are going and when they will be home, and commitment to following the host family preferences for curfews, household rules and more. Hosts in our program believe in the cultural exchange component of our program and want to participate with willing, positive students who want that experience as they learn to navigate American systems and language.

The cost of living in the South Sound region is high — students are not paying the full value of living with a host family; rather, they are paying a stipend to pay for most of the costs of hosting. Students who do not wish for this type of experience or prefer more independent living should consider Pierce College's other types of housing programs, including the Center for Global Scholars Residence Hall (ages 17 and older) or independent off-campus apartment living (age 18 and older).

Sign up for the Homestay email newsletter

Students will receive a fully furnished room, internet access and a safe learning environment. All homes are within a 45 minute or less bus commute. Students can choose between a full hosting (with 2 meals; $650/month) or partial hosting (no meals; $500/month) experience. The one-time Homestay Application Fee is $275 (beginning July 1, 2018). Please contact our Homestay office at 253-964-6593 or email for a Homestay Application.

Looking to Become a Host Family?

Pierce College International Education is currently seeking hosts to provide a happy, healthy and enriching cultural exchange with our students. Hosts need to have an open heart, value new cultures, and desire to help teach about their own culture and experiences. We are always looking for new hosts that are willing to participate in global cultural exchange. Hosting opportunities are available in Lakewood and the Puyallup/South Hill area.

Different hosting options:

  • Short Term Hosting: Short-term hosting requires families to commit to a two- to six-week stay. Typically, other colleges or groups will come in to tour our school or attend a language intensive. Right now, short-term hosting occurs only at the Lakewood campus. Puyallup host families who would like to participate will need to provide daily transportation for their students.
  • Long Term Hosting: Host families commit to student placements for three months or more. This includes a full homestay experience (two meals per day) or a partial homestay experience (no meal requirements). Hosting is available at both the Puyallup and the Lakewood campuses.

Host families receive full 24/7 emergency support, ongoing training and leadership opportunities, and a stipend to cover the costs of hosting students.

Host families are required to:

  • Provide a bed, bedding, desk, lamp, clothing storage (dresser or closet), fully functioning window and internet access
  • Open their home and provide a safe, generous and hospitable environment for the student
  • Live within a 45 minute bus ride (limited to 1 bus transfer) to campus
  • Provide two meals per day (full hosting only)

Become a Host Family

The application process is very easy and requires submitting a completed application, attending a host family orientation, and having a host family home visit and interview.

For more information, or to request an application, please email or call 253-964-6593.


Students who have lived independently before, know American culture and language well, and can independently navigate transportation are great candidates for independent living. Due to increased housing demands in the area, students should allow 3–6 months to find an apartment or home to rent and should plan on paying for first month's rent, a deposit (equal to the price per month of apartment), and last month’s rent up front at lease signing. Additionally, all utilities (water, sewer, garbage, electricity and gas), internet, and cable are often billed separately from the base rent amount. Rental prices vary in the South Sound region, so pay attention to the current average rental price you could expect to pay. Pierce College does not assist with placements in independent off campus housing.

Note: Apartments in the area usually come equipped with appliances, such as a stove, refrigerator and heater, but they do not include furnishings. If you choose to live in an apartment, you should be prepared to buy or rent such things as beds, tables, chairs, telephones, televisions, linens and kitchen utensils. We recommend apartment living only if you plan to attend Pierce College or live in the area for six months or longer.