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Mentoring, Advocacy and Peer Support

Mentoring, Advocacy
and Peer Support
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Friendship Families

Building cultural awareness, understanding, and appreciation


The Friendship Families program connects UCM international students with local families and individuals, expanding upon the existing program of the same name in the UCM International Center.  These connections can last well past the time that the student lives in Warrensburg; in fact often participants in the Friendship Families program find that they really do become like family.













Benefits for Students

  • Improving English proficiency
  • Experiencing and understanding Midwestern American culture
  • Connecting socially with local residents
  • Having a safe place to ask questions about American culture and their experiences in the U.S.
  • Creating opportunities to share about their culture, families, interests, and more

Benefits for Community Members

  • Learn more about another country and culture
  • Increased cultural understanding and an expanded appreciation of the world
  • Helping international students feel connected to and comfortable in the United States
  • Helping their families, 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 in August to be introduced, to talk 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.
  • Participants are asked to meet at least once a month but 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 events with their students. Students are urged to share their cultures and join their host 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.


Applications for the Fall 2017 Friendship Families Program are now closed.


Please contact Katie Kim, Friendship Families intern, at with questions.


For future Friendship Families opportunities, you'll need to:


1.  Choose the appropriate application link below and complete the application.


Friendship Families COMMUNITY MEMBER ApplicationHiking together


Friendship Families STUDENT Application

(Because of the large number of student applications anticipated, not all students may be matched. )


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


Friendship Families COMMUNITY MEMBER Agreement


Friendship Families STUDENT Agreement


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)
  • 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 contact Suzy Latare, MAPS Coordinator, at 660-543-8947 or