International Friendship Program
Many international students choose to participate in the International Friendship Program, though which you are assigned a "host family," or IFP "partner." A host family is NOT a family you live with! IFP partners may be families, couples, or individuals who would like to build a relationship with an international student. Your American IFP partner may invite you to dinner, ask you to join in holiday celebrations or special events, provide occasional transportation to the train/bus station or the shopping mall, and generally be available to act as a resource for you. Your relationship with your host family can provide support and increase opportunities to experience American culture beyond the Hamilton College campus!
We encourage you to consider participating in the International Friendship Program! Many students develop close friendships with their host families and find them a great source of help. If you wish to do so, please return the IFP student form
by fax or email to Regina Johnson
or Carol Drogus
For American International Friendship Partners
IFP is a program that helps residents of Clinton or surrounding communities get to know a Hamilton international student, while offering the student some support as he or she becomes acclimated to life in the U.S. IFP is enriching for all participants: the student gets a chance to experience what life is really like for families or individuals in small-town America, and the volunteer(s) get a chance to explore another culture and another way of life through interactions with the student. Both get the chance to develop a lasting friendship.
As an IFP volunteer, these are the sorts of things you might do (suggested, not mandatory):
- Greet your student at the airport or train station upon arrival in mid- to late August.
- Attend our opening kickoff cookout for international students.
- Invite your student to your home for a meal on occasion.
- Invite your student to participate in some of your usual activities, such as school events, sporting events, special events in the area or other outings.
- Invite your student to celebrate a holiday occasion with you.
- Contract your student prior to breaks to see if you can assist with transportation or offer a meal, your company, or storage space if needed.
- Check in occasionally to see if your student might need a ride to the mall or grocery store.
- Help out with an occasional ride to the doctor or dentist if your student is in need.
As an IFP volunteer, you will not need to provide housing,financial help,legal and/or immigration advice, or housing or meals over college breaks for your student.
IFP volunteers can be families, couples or individuals. Being a volunteer requires very little - just a simple desire on your part to befriend a student, make an initial contact, participate in an opening activity (such as the cookout) and then extend an invitation roughly once a month or at mutually agreeable times. Remember, the students are as busy as you are; the time commitment on both sides is really quite small.
If you would like to become an IFP partner, please return the volunteer form to Regina Johnson or Carol Drogus electronically or via campus or local mail. If you have questions, please email or call 859-4022.