International Friendship Program
Open your doors and hearts
Nearly 80 percent of the 500,000 international students in the U.S. would never step foot into an American home if it weren't for international friendship programs. The International Friendship Program at Purdue provides the opportunity for local residents to open their hearts and homes to Purdue international students and scholars.
International Friendship at Purdue (IFP) was created to help new international students and scholars transition into American life and culture. The first semester a student or scholar is in the U.S. is the most critical time of cultural adjustment. Students far from home are curious about Americans and American customs and are eager to have an opportunity to make friends with Americans.
Through IFP, a community volunteer living in Greater Lafayette is matched with an international student or scholar. The volunteer host's primary role is to welcome the international guest and extend friendship in practical ways. Throughout their first semester in the U.S., volunteer host and student guest look for times in their schedules when they can meet together in activities ranging from dinner to outings.
The volunteer host welcomes and befriends the international student and scholar by being friendly and having a healthy respect for another's ideas, customs and world view. Being curious about other countries and cultures is a quality volunteers need to demonstrate, along with a willingness to share personally from their own lives.
Many volunteer hosts who participate in the program sign up semester after semester because they have experienced the satisfaction of contributing to students' lives in some significant ways.