Click here to return to Messiah College's homepage
Intercultural Office

Friendship Family Program - FAQs for Students

 

FFamily

What is the purpose of the program?

The purpose of the program is to set you up with a "friendship family," and then let the relationship develop organically. We want the program to be exactly what the name implies—a family close by that can serve as a friend, providing you with the support you need while your own families are far away.

 

What can I expect from my Friendship Family?

There should be a mutual understanding of the expectations between you and the family, and what each of you want to gain from this experience. So, it is helpful if you discuss these expectations when you meet each other for the first time. These expectations can include how often you want to meet, how you will keep in contact, and how you will keep each other involved.

 

How often should I connect with my family?

Keep in touch with your family throughout the semester to let them know how you are doing, and to see how they are doing. Try your best to accept their invitations when asked to different events, and respond to them in an appropriate manner/time.

 

Can I expect my Friendship Family to provide transportation?

When you need transportation ask your family well in advance if they will be able to take you, and don't wait until the last minute. Your family is there to provide you with support, but be respectful of their time.

 

Is my Friendship Family expected to provide accommodation during breaks?

No, your friendship family does not have to provide accommodation for you during breaks, although if they are able they may extend an invitation to you. So, since your family is not required, it will be good to make other arrangements for a place to stay during breaks when housing is closed.

 

Tips and Suggestions:

Ask your family questions if you are unsure of how to dress if they invite you over, or if you need to do anything.

  • Be aware of cultural differences, and tell your friendship family if you feel uncomfortable. Be kind, friendly, and courteous. Pray for your family.
  • If any problems may arise, or you have any concerns about the program, please do not hesitate to let Kevin Villegas (Director of International Student Programs) know immediately.

 

Dos and Don'ts

Do

  • Take initiative to connect with your family, do not always wait for them to contact you.
  • Return calls or invites promptly, try your best to attend when your family invites you.

 

Don't

  • Ask for any financial help or immigration support from your friendship family
  • Expect your family to provide you with accommodation over/during breaks, or that you can store your things there for the summer

 

Applying to the program

Friendship Family Application - For Students (Online Form)