International Friendship Program

Decorative: W flag waves in front of flags from around the world carried by international students at WMU.

Western Michigan University is home to students from over 100 countries. The International Friendship Program matches international students and scholars with community members for monthly activities.

The Haenicke Institute for Global Education is excited to announce the 2019 launch of it's International Friendship Program (IFP): an initiative that connects international students with the Kalamazoo community. The IFP is designed to assist international students in transitioning and learning U.S. American culture as well as engaging the local community with the world.

The IFP pairs WMU international friends (international students and scholars) with community friends (local community members) to interact once per month from September through April. The International Friendship Program (IFP) is NOT a live-in or homestay program.

 

Who Can Participate?

Decorative: four individuals play bingo around a round table.

All matched friends—international and communitymust be at least 18 years of age.

All friends, international and community, must be at least 18 years of age. 

International Friends

Eligible international students and scholars include: 

  • Degree-seeking students and family*
  • International scholars and family*

*Children of international friends may participate with a signed consent form.

For the pilot 2019-2020 academic year, community friends MUST be faculty or staff currently employed by WMU.

Community Friends

Community friends can include but are not limited to: 

  • Couples or single adults
  • Retired adults
  • Families with children
  • Single parents
  • Current WMU students

For the pilot 2019-2020 academic year, community friends MUST be faculty or staff currently employed by Western Michigan University.

 

What are the Expectations?

The expectations of the IFP are: 

  1. Friendship pairs meet at least once per month.
  2. Participants will not attempt to proselytize to their own religion. 
  3. Community friends are NOT expected to pay for international friends while attending joint activities.
  4. Community friends do not offer housing to international friends.
  5. Friendship pairs are respectful of cultural differences. 
  6. Friendship pairs espouse international understanding as a lifelong goal.

 

How can I Learn More and Apply

To learn more: 

  1. Review the International Friendship Program Handbook
  2. Submit an international friend or a community friend application 

For the pilot 2019-2020 academic year, community friends MUST be faculty or staff employed by Western Michigan University.