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University Relations

University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


UCM Friendship Families Program Seeks Community Participants

Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (July 25, 2017) – The Friendship Families program in the Office of Mentoring, Advocacy and Peer Support at the University of Central Missouri is seeking local families and individuals to participate in the program that provides local connections for international students at UCM.

Friendship Families

Members of the family of Larry and Marty Werneke joined UCM international students representing Japan, Saudi Arabia and India during the spring 2017 semester as a Friendship Family.

The MAPS Friendship Families program, which expands the program by the same name in the UCM Center for Global Education, offers international students a relationship with a local family that eases the challenges of living so far from home. Students participating in the program learn about American and Midwestern culture, connect socially with the community in which they are living, and become part of a family relationship that often extends beyond their years of study at UCM.

“We’re looking for 20 families to match with students this fall,” said Suzy Latare, program coordinator. “We’ve found that the opportunity to spend time in with a family often helps students with things like language proficiency and understanding the differences between their home cultures and American culture. Friendship families also benefit from the relationships, learning about different cultures and sharing that knowledge with several generations of their families.”

After submitting an application, community members interested in becoming part of the Friendship Families program are matched with a student and will attend a Meet and Greet event in August, where families and students will meet, hear an overview of the program and complete necessary paperwork. Families and students are encouraged to meet at least once per month, but may meet more often, depending on schedules and opportunity. Families are encouraged to share holidays and family events, and student are encouraged the share their cultures and join their families for special occasions.

The deadline to apply to participate in the program in Aug. 11.  Families may obtain more information and apply online at, or by contacting Latare at 660-543-8947 or