Thank you for your interest in the Community Friends Program!
So many university students, researchers and visitors from around the world come to the Columbia area and never have the opportunity to meet an American family. But that doesn't have to be the case, with the help of people like you, we can change that for many international visitors.
This connection can set the tone for their entire experience in our country. This will have an impact on you and your family as well. You will quickly learn that while we have many things in common with internationals, even if their culture is different from your own. This cultural exchange can be quite fascinating and eye opening.
As you can imagine, it can be quite overwhelming to come to another country and not know anyone. CCFI will offer this program to students, researchers and visitors as they arrive. As soon as we receive an application from them, we will quickly match them with a Community Friend.
As this is a new program, we are unsure what the level of interest will be. You may hear from us immediately or it may be a while before we match you with someone.
You and your international friend will decide what kind of relationship you would like. Some relationships are more short term, but many turn into lasting friendships. You may find that they need you most when they are new to the country. As they settle in and meet friends, they may not need as much contact.
Please contact your international friend within the week of a match. Make some plans together whether it be dinner or an outing. After your first visit, do a follow up (call, text or email) with them to see how they are doing. They really appreciate that.
If you have any questions about Community Friends or how to apply, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org