Befriend an International Student

You may never be able to travel to exotic locations around the world. BUT this does not mean that you can only learn about other places by reading books and watching movies. You can learn about another country in your own home! Curious?

One of the best ways you can learn about another culture and country is to befriend an international student. Most cities with colleges or universities have many students from other countries. Some families choose to host a high school student for an entire year. (My grandparents did this.) Other families, like mine, just become friends with a local college student. We have been friends, now, for two years – meeting a couple of times a month on average. We love having him in our home, eating meals with him, and including him in our activities.  He loves our children and calls us his “American family”.

What does this relationship look like?  We are friends! We ask him about his culture and country.   We have tried to learn a few words in his native language. We try to learn about his religious beliefs. We have had many great conversations about what we believe and why we believe it. We have taken him to the airport, and picked him up again when he returned.  We have given him advice on job searches and interviews.  We have watched movies.  We have helped him move…several times.  I have cooked many meals (including one meal similar to one he might have gotten at home in his country). And recently he cooked for us!

The best part of this relationship is that my kids are learning about another culture.  They are also learning how to be respectful of someone with different beliefs. They have made a new friend, and they love having him come to our house.

If you need help to find a student to befriend, try contacting an organization like International Students, Inc.