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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, giving 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.

Often participants in the Friendship Families program find that they really do become like family.

Four international students smiling at the camera

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

Amircan famly at home with several international students

Benefits for community members

  • Learn more about another country and culture
  • Help international students feel at home and comfortable in Warrensburg
  • An expanded appreciation of the diversity of our world
  • Help your family, especially children and grandchildren, get to know others who are both different and the same as they are
Family meal

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.
  • The Committee first matches exchange students (those who are at UCM for one or two semesters only) then, if enough community members are available, matches students who plan to be at UCM for a longer time.
  • 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, and free or inexpensive 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.
  • As they are able, participants will meet again for a Friendship Celebration at the end of each semester. Community members interested in participating in the following semester's program are welcome to attend this event.

 

Apply for the Friendship Families Program

Students

To be considered as a Student participant, you must complete the application linked below.

Please also read the Student Agreement; if you are matched with a community member, you will need to read, understand, and sign this agreement before participating in the program. 

FF Student Agreement

 

Community Members

To be considered as a Community Member participant, you must complete the application linked below.

Please also read the Community Member Agreement; if you are matched with a student, you will need to read, understand, and sign this agreement before participating in the program.

FF Community Member Agreement

 

 

2019/2020 Program Timeline

  • August 25, 2019: applications due

  • August 26-September 4, 2019: matches made, participants invited

  • September 8, 2019 Meet and Greet: Families & students introduced; program overview; participants sign agreements; Q&A

  • Monthly September-November 2019: participants meet

  • Late November, 2019: End of semester Friendship Celebration

  • January 19, 2020: applications due

  • January 20-24, 2020: matches made, participants invited

  • January 26, 2020 Meet and Greet: Families & students introduced; program overview; participants sign agreements; Q&A

  • Monthly February-April, 2020: participants meet

  • Late April/early May, 2020: End of semester Friendship Celebration

Activity Ideas

Remember - keep it simple!

  • 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 or to ask a question, please email friendshipfamilies@ucmo.edu.

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