The International Friendship Program connects international students with Kearney families or individuals for the purpose of communication, cultural sharing and fun activities. This program gives international students the opportunity to meet and enjoy the friendship of Kearney community members. Students can experience American culture and customs in a family setting, which helps them gain an understanding of these things more quickly than they would otherwise. It also gives students the opportunity to teach their Kearney friends about their country and culture and to practice their English language skills.
Families who have participated in this program have found it to be a wonderfully rewarding experience. They can expand their knowledge of the world and experience other countries’ culture and customs without leaving Kearney! They also have the opportunity to share a bit of their lives with students, which is often one of the students’ most cherished experiences in the United States. Finally, another interesting benefit for families is that they gain a new level of understanding about themselves and the United States. The process of explaining holiday traditions or concepts such as freedom help clarify their own beliefs.
The International Friendship Program is a visitation program rather than a home-stay program. Students attend classes at UNK and are responsible for their own housing accommodations. Families are friends with students just as they are friends with others.
The duration of the commitment is one year. However, most often the friendship lasts throughout the student’s stay in Kearney and even beyond. The time commitment does not need to be great. It is our hope that the students and families will connect once or twice a month. You are free to get together more frequently if you like.
For more information, contact:
International Outreach Coordinator
Welch Hall 108