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Mentoring, Advocacy and Peer Support

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Friendship Families

Building cultural awareness, understanding, and appreciation












Welcome international students! The Friendship Families program connects you with local families and individuals to help you feel at home here in Warrensburg


Welcome community members! The Friendship Families program matches you with international students who are studying here at UCM, and gives you and your family a chance to help students feel welcome and at home, while at the same time learning more about another country and culture.


Benefits for Students


  • Meeting local people
  • Improving your English speaking skills
  • Learning about Midwestern American culture, and being able to ask questions about it
  • Sharing your culture and interests

Benefits for Community Members


  • Learn more about another country and culture
  • Helping international students feel connected to and comfortable in the United States
  • An expanded appreciation of the world's people
  • Helping your family, especially children and grandchildren, expand their understanding of others who are at once different and the same as they are


Program Structure


  • Community members and students complete an application to be part of the program (see links below). The Friendship Families Committee reviews all applications, and community members are matched with an international student (more than one if they prefer) according to each other's interests and preferences.
  • Community members will be subject to a basic background check (CaseNet and the Sex Offender Registry).
  • After the matches are made, participants attend a required Meet and Greet event to be introduced and get to know one another, to hear an overview of the program, to sign the agreements (links below) and to ask questions about the program.
  • We ask that participants meet at least once a month but you are welcome to meet more often, depending on schedules and preferences.  Simple, fun activities are often the best; a list of activity ideas is below.
  • There are no expectations that either the family or the student will purchase items for one another or otherwise spend money, nor are there to be any overnight stays, in town or out of town.
  • Families are encouraged to share their traditions, holidays, and everyday events with their students. Students are urged to share their cultures and join their families for social occasions.
  • Participants will meet again for a Friendship Celebration in late April. Community members interested in participating in the following year's program are welcome to attend this event.


Hiking together











Apply for the Friendship Families program


1.  Click on the appropriate application link below and complete the application.

2.  Review the appropriate agreement below.  All participants must sign an agreement at the Meet & Greet event; copies will be provided at the event.


For Community Members:


Friendship Families Community Member APPLICATION


Friendship Families Community Member AGREEMENT


For Students:


Friendship Families Student APPLICATION


Friendship Families Student AGREEMENT

(Because of a limited number of families, some students may not be matched with a family.)


2017/2018 Program Timeline


  • Sunday, August 13, 2017: all applications due
  • Week of August 14, 2017: matches made; match information sent to participants no later than Friday, August 18
  • August 26, 2017, 2-3:30 PM: Meet & Greet in Elliott Union 237B
  • Monthly September 2017-April 2018: students and families meet (or monthly within the semester if only matched for a semester)
  • January, 2018: Additional matches made if possible
  • April 28, 2018, 2-3:30 PM: Friendship Celebration


Activity Ideas


  • Walk, jog, or ride together along a trail or in the neighborhood

  • Go birdwatching or apple picking

  • Visit the lake, a local farm, or the farmers market

  • Fly a kite (buy one or make your own)

  • Build a birdfeeder or other small project

  • Go skating, bowling, or for a city tour

  • Visit a local museum or historic site

  • Enjoy a picnic together

  • Cook or bake together

  • Make a photo book or small craft project

  • Plant a tree

  • Watch a movie or sports game together

  • Walk the dog

  • Go grocery shopping

  • Work on a jigsaw puzzle, play a board game or card game



For more information please contact Katie Kim, Friendship Families intern, at or Suzy Latare, MAPS Coordinator, at 660-543-8947 or