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ULM invites and receives students from around the world and currently boasts representation from over 60 countries. Fall 2013 represents one of the largest classes of new international students in ULM’s history. For many of these students, their arrival at ULM marked their first time being in the U.S. Those of us who work in the Office of International Student Programs and Services are aware of the needs our students have as a result of being in a totally new environment. Therefore we would like to invite the community to be a "friendship family" to one or more students. This program seeks to involve families in providing for the international student someone with whom the student can immediately relate and identify and provide someplace where they can go to share some weekend time or time over the holidays. This will also provide for the families an opportunity to develop what could be a lasting friendship with an excellent student from another culture.
We are not asking for families to provide housing. We are not looking for families to provide any counseling. We are not looking for families to be responsible for any of the financial obligations of the student. We ARE looking for families that can be a link between the international student and our culture.
Friendship Families can come in all shapes and sizes! We encourage participation regardless of life stage and family type: young couples, families with or without children, older couples, single people, etc.
Program Expectations: The Office of International Student Programs and Services will help you exchange contact information and arrange your initial opportunity to meet. The next step would be for YOU (program participants) to initiate contact and invitations to get together. Families invite students to visit their homes and to explore the local area. Students invite families to campus activities and may consider their host family as a resource for their adjustment to life in the US. We ask families and/or students to initiate at least three activities per semester (some do more, some do less). While in-person contact is preferred, phone and email are also great ways to stay connected.
Informational meetings will be planned for both students and community participants prior to the first get-together!