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"How strange everything is today, and yesterday things went on as usual. It was so much pleasanter at home where one wasn't always growing larger and smaller and being ordered about by mice and rabbits. I almost wish I hadn't gone down that rabbit hole-and yet-and yet-it's rather curious, you know, this sort of life."
-Alice in Wonderland

How to Apply to the Friendship Family Program

Student with Friendship Family kidsThe fabric of our culture is woven within the family. It is here we learn our values, customs and the nuances that define our lives. This is a rich opportunity to understand our own culture better while learning about someone else’s culture. There is more to education than lectures, textbooks and term papers. Some of the most rewarding and informative experiences will occur outside the classroom.

The Friendship Family Program is a social relationship. This means that friendship families do not provide housing for new international students. The role is to welcome the students to the community and help with the numerous aspects of adjusting to a new living experience.

Each year students from around the world come to Linfield College to broaden their education. - Some come for a four year-degree - Some come for a one semester or one-year program All students have a desire to know about American life. International students bring with them fascinating histories and fresh perspectives, which can enable you to learn and better appreciate the different cultures that encompass the world around you.

Bruce Wyatt and studentsA Friendship Family can be a single person, a retired couple, a traditional family with children or a family with no children. Anyone can be a “family” to a student! The Friendship Family Program is a series of enriching experiences that you set up, at times that are mutually convenient for you and your student. You meet with your student a minimum of once a month and share activities such as:

  • dinner in your home
  • watching your child’s sporting event
  • attending a movie or play
  • going on a picnic

 Cultural self-awareness allows us to see that our way of doing things is but one of many different but equally “natural” ways. The ability to accept those differences helps in building relationships with people from other cultures. This volunteer program is designed to supplement the students’ academic experience by getting them off campus and into our community.

  • Share a meal and discuss differences on how cultures “sit” at the table, serve food, converse and think of mealtime as a quick or leisurely event.
  • Watch a movie and compare what is humorous, scary and sad.
  • Exchange thoughts on family roles and rules.
  • Periodically throughout the year, International Programs sponsors events for our Friendship Families and their students, such as picnics, holiday parties and social outings.