Friendship Family Program

Family Information
We are excited that you are interested in applying to be a Friendship Family for an international student at Norwich University! Being a Friendship Family is a wonderful way to share your own culture and traditions with a student while learning about a different country or culture! The Friendship Family experience oft-times is one of the fondest memories a student has of studying in the United States and can lead to a lifetime friendship! Click here to download the Friendship Family Application.

What is the Friendship Family Program?
The International Center matches interested international students with local families and singles. The goal is for the student to learn about and experience American culture outside of Norwich University. We also hope that the student will share his or her culture with you and your family.

What type of families are you looking for?
A Friendship Family is anyone who is interested in providing a friendly face and moral support for an international student during his or her time at Norwich University. A Friendship Family could consist of a family with young children, a family with grown children, a single person, a retired couple, members of the GLBTQA community, a couple without children, etc.

What do you do as part of the Friendship Family?
Activities between Friendship Families depend on the interests of the family and student. Students enjoy cultural activities that are somewhat unique to the United States like pumpkin carving for Halloween, dying Easter eggs, attending a baseball game, etc. However, they are also interested in participating in family activities that they enjoyed with their families back home such as watching a movie, meeting up to chat over coffee, playing games and cooking dinner together! In addition to those activities your student might appreciate joining you when you go to the grocery store or to the local mall because public transportation to those businesses is limited.

Do we need to provide the student with housing?
No, the student will not live with your family. If you are comfortable with the student and would like to invite him or her to stay at your home during holiday breaks you are welcome to do so. Also, the Friendship Family does not provide any financial assistance for the student.

Do I need to do something with my student every week?
No, but we ask that you do something with your student at least once a month. This is an exciting opportunity for you and the student, and it does require a small time commitment.

How do I apply to be a Friendship Family?
Please fill out a Friendship Family Application and return it to Mindy Ward, International Programs Coordinator at Norwich University. If  you have any additional questions or concerns please contact the International Center. After you complete the application please return it to the International Center (Norwich University, 158 Harmon Drive, Northfield, Vermont 05663) or electronically at

Friendship Family Responsibilities

Responsibilities of the Family

  • To attend a Friendship Family orientation
  • To make initial contact with the student to arrange a time to meet, get acquainted and talk about how often you will get together
  • To invite the student to an occasional dinner, family outing (e.g. shopping, hiking, canoeing, a sports event, etc.), family activity (e.g., birthdays, visits to grandparents), church event, local seasonal activity (e.g., pumpkin carving, Christmas tree-trimming), and/or just an evening in watching TV, playing board games or chatting. The family and student typically work out how frequently they wish to get together, depending on their respective schedules and interests.
  • To offer the student an opportunity for an occasional “time-out” from studying in an off-campus friendly setting
  • To discuss with the International Center any potential problems or obstacles that the student may be facing
  • To learn about the student’s culture, religion and customs, and to be accepting and adaptable in a way that will help the student feel comfortable in your home when he/she visits

Responsibilities of the Student

  • To attend the Friendship Family student orientation
  • To participate as a family member when visiting in the home
  • To take initiative for getting involved with the family
  • To respond promptly to invitations from the family, to honor appointments made and to be on time.
  • To show courtesy in returning phone messages and e-mails promptly
  • To learn about the family, their culture and traditions
  • To share his/her own culture

Responsibilities of the International Center

  • To match international students and prospective local families, according to mutual interests and desired characteristics
  • To be responsive to mutual needs
  • To respond to concerns regarding any relationship issues that emerge between the student and family
  • To evaluate the Friendship Family program to ensure that it is meeting its goals
  • To provide a separate orientation session for families and students
  • To coordinate and host a fall and spring potluck to give families the opportunity to meet and interact with one another.

Fun Ideas for Your Friendship Family

  • Have a movie night at home
  • Visit the statehouse in Montpelier
  • Shop at the local farmer’s market
  • Carve Pumpkins for Halloween
  • Attend the Vermont Maple Festival
  • Tour Cabot Creamery
  • Hike Pane Mountain
  • Enjoy Ben & Jerry’s ice cream
  • Bake cookies together
  • Watch a sports game
  • Take a day trip to somewhere new
  • Taste food from your student’s country
  • Build a snowman after it snows
  • Volunteer together in the community
  • Invite your student to go shopping
  • Meet up for coffee and chat
  • Attend a concert
  • Explore Burlington
  • Check out Vermont’s full foliage
  • Cook a meal together

Student Information
Interested in learning about American culture outside of Norwich University? Sign up to get matched Friendship Family! A Friendship Family is a local family who is interested in getting to know YOU and your country and culture while also helping you adapt to life in the United States. Click here to download an application (Student application attachment)

What is the Friendship Family Program?
The Friendship Family Program matches you with a local family based on your shared interests. The goal of the program is to help you learn more about American culture while giving the family the opportunity to learn more about you and your country!

What type of families are involved with the program?
A family might be a family with children, a couple without children, a retired couple, members of the GLBTQA community or a single person! Each family is excited to be a part of the program and meet an international student like you!

What do you do as part of the Friendship Family?
You and your family decide on what activities you will to do together! Friendship Families typically enjoy home cooked meals together, celebrate holidays, visit local sites of interest, play games and so much more! We recommend that you suggest fun activities to do with your family that introduce them to your culture!

Do I live with my family?
No, you do not live with the family. Also, your family does not provide you with any financial support.

How often will I meet with my family?
You and your family decide how  often you will  meet. Some Friendship Families meet once a week, other Families meet twice a month. We ask that all Families do one activity together once a month.

How do I apply for the Friendship Family Program?
Please fill out the Friendship Family Student Application.  All students will be required to attend a Friendship Family Orientation before they will be matched with a family.

Study abroad Study at Norwich Partner with us Apply now
Norwich University
158 Harmon Drive
Northfield, VT 05663 USA
1 (802) 485-2000 | 1 (800) 468-6679
Copyright © 2018 Norwich University - all rights reserved