The International Studies Program at Lake Land College undertakes many activities in order to better facilitate the adjustment period for incoming international students, such as field trips to surrounding attractions, social gatherings, and more. One area, however, that we would like to improve is a sense of local family support. Unlike American college students who most often have a family support system in place, international students are far from home while they experience the trials of adjusting to college life in America, and it often leaves them feeling homesick.
It is the goal of the Global Friends Program to address this issue. Formally called the "Adopt a Student" program, the Global Friends Program pairs international students with local families throughout the community. The Global Friends Program is not a home-stay or live in program; it is meant to help international students form cross-cultural friendships with local families, which will given them a richer and more fulfilling "American" experience.
All incoming international students will be given the opportunity to be matched with a family in the community. All willing local families will be evaluated by the International Studies Program to ensure that they are responsible individuals who will be able to make a positive impact on the student's experience. Evaluation criteria includes: completed application, references and phone interview.
Once a student and family are matched, each local family and student will meet together with the Director of International Studies to be briefed on the specifics of the program.
The local families and students will be provided with a list of recommended activities and events. However, the family and student will be free to alter their activities to best fit their own personal situation. We suggest that Global Friends pairs meet at least once a month, but can choose to meet on a more regular basis, if desired.
The local family/student relationship will continue until one party wishes to terminate the relationship.
Local Family Guidelines
Meeting initially with the student and Director of International Studies Program.
Spending time with the said student at least once a month (please see attached list of suggested activities).
Attending a post-match meeting with the Director of International Studies and other program participants to help the International Studies Department better serve the needs of the students and the community.
Meeting initially with their assigned local family and the Director of International Studies Programs.
Spending time with their local family at least once a month (please see attached list of suggested activities).
Being respectful of their local family, including their home.
Attending a post-match meeting with the Director of International Studies and other program participants to help the International Studies Departmentbetter serve the needs of the students and the community.
List of Recommended Activities
Dinner at the local family's home.
Working together to cook foods from each country.
Dinner at a local restaurant.
Going to the movies.
Out of town trips, i.e. Champaign, St. Louis, Chicago, etc. Many students do not have transportation and are extremely limited in where they can go.
Family events, such as holiday dinners.
Local activities, such as BagelFest, sporting events, etc.
Local attractions such as Fox Ridge, Lincoln Log Cabin, etc.
Outdoor activities such as fishing during warm weather or sledding during the winter season.
Participating in charity work throughout the community.