Skip to main content
Skip to navigation

American LIFE

International students.An estimated 80 percent of international students never set foot in an American home while visiting the United States. Our program aims to change that statistic, one student at a time.

In the American League of International Friendship Encounters (LIFE) program, the International Center matches international students and scholars with area community members. This cross-cultural friendship program provides the students with a more intimate and authentic experience of American culture.

By befriending international students, participating LIFE volunteers help to alleviate loneliness and anxieties while providing insight into American life. Personal interactions add to the students’ experiences and also open the eyes and minds of American friendship partners, who learn about the international students’ cultures.

For details, consult the Community Member Guide.

Expectations of friendship partners

  • Meet a minimum of once per month.
  • Participate in one or two International Center events each semester.
  • Invite your student to sporting events, festivals, outings, family dinners or day-to-day activities.
  • Acknowledge the NAFSA Code of Ethics.
  • Do not take on legal, financial or housing obligations.
  • Refer concerns or issues to the International Center.

Benefits of international friendships

  • Expand social support networks.
  • Enhance the sense of community and belonging.
  • Ease the impact of culture shock.
  • Increase cross-cultural competency and understanding.
  • Develop appreciation for different countries.

Sign up!