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Office of International Programs

Minot Area Individuals and Families

What is the International Friendship Program?
The International Friendship Program is a support service managed by the Office of International Programs that will connect Minot community members and International students. As an International Friend, you provide a perspective on American culture, which the students may not experience on campus, by including the student in informal dinners, holiday celebrations, an occasional family outing, or any event that adds to the richness of the international student's experience in the United States. Community members are asked to meet with their International Friend at least 2 times each semester, in addition to attending an orientation at the start of the program.

What can the International Friendship Program bring to your family?
In this growing age of global inter-dependence there is no better way for an individual or family to learn about another cultural background than through being a friend to an international student. International students bring with them a fascinating history and fresh perspectives, which can enable you to learn and better appreciate the different cultures that encompass the global community around you. The International Friendship Program gives you the opportunity to "feel" and experience the world without leaving your home. In addition, becoming an International Friend gives you the opportunity to become a special part of the MSU community by participating in events around campus with your student.

What can you bring to your International Friend?
We are all familiar with the difficulties new freshman face when adjusting to university life. If adapting to college life is hard for American freshman, it is even more challenging for international students as they must cope with the added stress of encountering many things that are completely new and sometimes scary. The international student must deal with living in a new culture; a different school system with a new style of teaching and learning; making friends in ways different from what they are used to; and a new style of life in residences hall that may not be common in their home country. In addition, most international students experience some degree of culture shock, and most speak English as a second or third language. They also have to face to other challenges in their daily life, such as not having access to transportation to see local sights, or for weekend activities off campus.

Being a friend to an International student gives them the opportunity to experience American life off-campus, and helps them cope with some of the challenges they experience simply by spending time with them and being a companion. Minot area community members will have the opportunity to truly touch the life of an International student by becoming their family away from home and by introducing the unique culture of your own family into their lives.

How can you or your family become involved in the International Friendship Program?
The success of this program depends on the commitment and participation of the community, and we hope that you will seriously consider this exciting opportunity. If you are interested in participation, please complete International Friendship Program Application and return it to the Office of International Programs.

Once you or your family has completed the International Friendship Application Form, the information you submit will be reviewed and a reply sent as soon as possible with additional information regarding the matching process. Students and community members are typically matched at the beginning of fall and spring semesters.