Webster International Friendship Program

Webster University’s Multicultural Center and International Student Affairs office bring together community members and Webster University international students to advance awareness of global perspectives. 

Webster International Friendship provides an opportunity for international students to connect beyond the Webster University campus and helps them better understand our community. Participation gives both the students and community members an opportunity to learn about other cultures, have stimulating conversations, and make new friends.

Through this informal program, international students will be matched with members from the local community and enjoy interactions to promote the open exchange of cultural experiences, customs and ideas. Community members enjoy the satisfaction of making a significant contribution to the success of the international students’ time in the U.S.

The program is designed to foster new friendships that promote learning and appreciation for both community members and students.

Webster International Friendship program may extend beyond sharing meals and could include invitations to international students to participate in family events, holidays, off campus events and excursions, exchanging phone calls and letters. Many people like to share meals, go on outings and celebrate holidays together.

Goals

Community members will learn about different cultures by developing rich personal relationships with Webster University international students.

Webster international students will be provided with an opportunity to experience American life firsthand and to participate more fully in community activities.

Community members and international students will have the opportunity to gain new perspectives by exchanging ideas and customs.

dori_kate_horsesProgram Description and Expectations

The Multicultural Center and International Student Affairs (MCISA) office at Webster University engages interested enrolled international students at the beginning of the school year (September). Married students and those with children may be part of the program, but it should be noted on application.

The MCISA will engage interested community members. A community member must have a connection to the University, e.g. residing in Webster Groves.  Families with and without children, single parent families and individuals participate in this program.

The MCISA will match the participants based on the requests of each applicant. Once matches are complete, the University will host a small gathering at the University for participants to meet and ask that all participants complete a Participation Agreement.

Community friends have no legal, financial or housing obligations to their international student friends. The program is not intended as a venue to recruit or enlist students in civic, religious, or business endeavors. The University will provide relevant information to participants regarding the legal requirements international students must follow while in the United States on student visas (F-1 or J-1).

It is suggested that families and students attempt to connect at least the two to three times per semester during the academic year (Sept. to May), on the average. What develops after a student and community member are matched depends on the mutual interests and convenience of both parties. Also, major holiday celebrations are generally of interest to many international students.

Participants should be respectful of others’ smoking preferences.

Participants should abide by the Missouri’s laws regarding the legal age for drinking.

To respect the wellbeing and safety of all participants, community members and students should maintain a minimum of two people in any one setting at all times.

Community members may be asked to provide transportation to and from the resident’s home, unless the home is within walking distance for the students.

If an emergency situation occurs during your meeting, please call 911 if necessary and appropriate, and Webster University’s Public Safety (314-968-6900) to ensure that all participants receive the attention required.

 2014-2015 Application Deadline: August 29, 2014

Check back with us if you are interested in joining the program mid-year.

Community Friend Application at http://tinyurl.com/WIFPcommunity1415

International Student Application at http://tinyurl.com/WIFPintlstudent1415

Paper applications are available on request from the MCISA.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs for International Students

FAQs for Community Friends

Participation Agreement

The MCISA will match the participants based on the requests of each applicant. Once matches are complete, the University will host a small gathering at the University for participants to meet and ask that all participants complete a Participation Agreement.

International Student Agreement

Community Friend Agreement

Photo Release Form

For additional information or questions, please contact Bethany Keller, International Student Affairs at Program at 246-7649 or bethanys@webster.edu.

To follow the International Friendship Program throughout the year, like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Websterinternationalfriendshipprogram

Enjoy the conversations, and have fun!