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Friendship Families

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International students have reported that having a Friendship Family while in the U.S. made a very positive impact on their stay. For many, it has provided a meaningful connection beyond the few months or years they studied at Missouri Southern. Students learn more about American culture and gain new perspectives on their own way of life.

The Friendship Families, who are volunteers, invite students to their homes once a semester, once a month, or more often. It is not a home-stay, as most international students live on campus in the residence halls.

The Friendship Families are not sponsors and should never be expected to provide financial assistance. They do provide emotional support and/or practical assistance in getting acquainted to your new home in Joplin, Missouri.

Build a relationship

  • You and your Friendship Family might do one or more of these activities:
  • Have dinner at their home;
  • Celebrate an American holiday together;
  • Watch a child’s sports event or school play;
  • Go for a hike;
  • Ride bicycles;
  • Play tennis;
  • Shop at one of the local farmers’ markets;
  • Go on a picnic;
  • Take a trip to Branson, Springfield, Tulsa, or Kansas City.

Students do not have to accept every invitation. If you must study, or if you do not wish to attend religious activities, for example, you are free to politely turn down an invitation. However, you should accept enough invitations (or initiate them) to develop a good relationship.

If you would like to be matched with a Friendship Family, please contact Stephanie Goad at international@mssu.edu.