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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Friendship Family Program

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Friendship Family Program October eventOctober Dinner Event 07

    Spring Event 07    

Friendship Family Mission Statement:

The Friendship Family Program (FFP) provides support and opportunity designed to assist international student during their adjustment period by connecting them with Friendship Family volunteers in the community.

International students stay in the United States for a limited time period. While academic responsibilities require much of their time and energy, they do want to learn about United States culture first hand. Our Friendship Family Program can foster this learning and can be a positive experience for all involved, especially children in the families. Students and families will develop an appreciation of how others live and view the world. The friendship that grows between a student and their Friendship Family promotes diversity and cultural awareness that will last a lifetime.

The International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) tries to recruit families and/or individuals interested in learning about another culture. Shortly after students arrive, they are matched with a family for the remaining academic year. It is up to the family and the student if they would like to continue their relationship beyond the first year; however many do. A special event is scheduled each semester to facilitate a meeting between new families and students. It also gives the current families and students a chance to interact with one another.

Friendship Family News

[DOC] Committee Meeting Summary (27 KiB)

What Participants Have Said


Puja Agrawal-Nepal- "An opportunity—it's a great learning experience for both the students and the families. The program provides for students to encounter American culture and vice-versa."

Roxane Geubue-Cameroon- “ My friendship Family are very nice, and from them I learned many things about Americans. They encouraged me with school, invites me to hang out with them. I really like to be a part of FFP, and I would encourage international students to be a part of this group because it helps us to be less homesick. “

Chia Fang Chang– Taiwan- “I like the friendship program and enjoy it very much. It helps me get into American society deeply and know more about American culture. They're very nice to me. I hope this program will continue and help international students enjoy.”

Salman Hakim-Pakistan- ”This program has indeed helped me in making some new friends outside campus who are very loving and supportive.

Sonia Zigre—Ivory Coast.- “Being in the family friendship program was a great experience for me. I learned a lot from my family about the culture in the United States and they also learned about how life is in my country. I really enjoyed this wonderful experience.”

Adib Rahmani-Afghanistan- “I personally appreciate FFP for providing all such opportunities which can reduce stress of international students and leave a good impression of the US with them after they go back to their home countries.


Dave & Suanne Benfield: “In the past, we invited our international students to share dinners with us. Our family enjoys interacting with them.”

Dale & Donna Hanke: "Sharing our family life with International students is a rewarding and learning experience - on both sides. We meet them as strangers and they soon become part of our family and many remain lifelong friends."

Francis and Evelyn Hatfield: "Our lives have been greatly enriched by international students as we have known them, worked with them and enjoyed entertainment and social times with them over our many years here. It has been rewarding to learn more and more about the great, wide world in which we all live together and the wonderful, interesting, loving people with whom we share it."

Gladys Olsen: "Mother's Day this year gave me a most special glow, with 11 Mother's Day cards and 3 trans-Pacific phone calls from international students we had hosted at MSU."

Want to get involved?

The Friendship Family Program can always use volunteers to help recruit families, assign students to families, and plan the special events. Please contact us if you are interested in helping with this program.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact the Kearney International Center:

Elizabeth And Wynn Kearney International Center
Minnesota State University, Mankato
250 Centennial Student Union
Mankato, MN 56001
(507) 389-1281(507) 389-1281(V) or (800) 627-3529(800) 627-3529 (MRS/TTY)
or use our contact form