Did you know that almost 70% of international students go back to their country without having formed a single authentic friendship with an American? The Friendship Partners program seeks to promote friendship and understanding between people of differing nationalities by pairing international students or scholars with interested families or individuals who will connect with them at least once a month.
This program provides an excellent vehicle for extending hospitality and compassion to internationals while sharing and learning about different cultures and world views.
How to Apply:
- Download Application (below)
- Email completed application to Katie by September 15
- Attend a required Friendship Partner Orientation on August 15 or September 12, 2019
- Partners are matched in October
What is Expected of a Friendship Partner?
- Commit to your international student for two semesters of the same academic year, i.e. fall and spring semesters.
- Contact your friend at least once each month, even if only by phone call.
- Invite your student to some of your activities and include them in conversations, answer questions about American life, and show that you care about the student.
- Actively support and participate in the social activities planned for Friendship Partners (Fall Barbeque, etc.)
What should I do with my Friendship Partner? The possibilities are endless. Ask them what they would like to see or do while they are here in America. Have fun together and discuss each others' cultures, traditions and families. Examples of activities that might be interesting for them:
- Have dinner at your home
- Attend a cultural event together
- Attend a sporting event
- Go to a movie or a concert
- Explore the local parks together
- Explore Birmingham
- Go shopping together
- Include your new friend in your family and holiday traditions