Starting life in a new country and culture can be a big adjustment for anyone, and that doubles for a student or scholars spouse, partner, or children. While the transition can seem daunting, the Office of International Services in collaboration with community partners (Crossroads International, Corvallis Multicultural Literacy Center) is committed to helping international students, scholars and their families become part of Oregon's community.
The International Friendship Program provides support and opportunities designed to assist international students and scholars during their adjustment period by connecting them with friends from the community. The program also provides an opportunity for the friends from the community to get to meet and know students and scholars from across the globe (approximately 110 different countries are represented at OSU).
Facilitate international students and scholars to develop off-campus friendships
Share cultures and traditions between Americans and international students/scholars
Develop lifelong relationships across the globe
Can I participate remotely in the International Friendship Program?
Yes! The International Friendship Program is being offered through remote delivery starting Fall term 2020. This means that all orientation and conversations with your partner will be conducted through remote means (video conferencing, phone calls, Zoom, email, etc). You decide with your partner which contact method works the best for the both of you.
Is there a cost to participate in the International Friendship Program?
There are no financial obligations for participating in this program. There are plenty of free or relatively inexpensive activities to participate in. Some activities may involve a fee. There is NO expectation that you pay for your partner’s fees or other costs for activities you engage in together.
How often am I supposed to meet with the person I am paired with?
It is most beneficial to participants if they engage in some type of contact or activity approximately once per month (2-3 times per academic quarter).
How long am I paired with my international friend?
At least for one academic year (October-June). International Friendship Program volunteers will be contacted and given the option to host another student/scholar the following year.
Does the student/scholar live with me?
No, the International Friendship Program is NOT a host family program. You are at no time expected to let international students/scholars stay overnight in your home. It is your choice and NOT an expectation, if in the case of a special event, you choose to invite your student/scholar to stay overnight.
How am I assigned my international friend?
Once committing to the International Friendship Program, you will fill out an application where you will be able to choose any preferences you may have. The program coordinator will try to meet your preferences based on the participant applicant pool.
Do I need training before participating?
It is beneficial and highly recommended to review the online orientation materials through Canvas. Program expectations and guidelines will be provided. You also can network with other program participants!
If as a participant an issue arises that I am unsure how to deal with, what should I do?
Please contact the International Friendship Program coordinator for assistance through email.
Things to do as program participants:
There are a variety of opportunities & activities in Corvallis and the surrounding areas that might be interesting to attend. Treat each other as new friends and as the friendship develops and interests become apparent, more opportunities will become available. Here are a few ideas to start with:
To Register as a participant: (Priority deadline is November 1st, 2020 but registrations are accepted year-round and matchups are based on availablity)
Download Flier for Distribution: