Friendship Family Program
Once you come to John Brown University, you will be given a friendship family. That family will come together to provide a meaningful cross-cultural relationship that also brings you the familial comforts of a home. At times, the American culture, customs, traditions, and social structure can be strange, but by connecting with your friendship family, you can gain a new perspective and understanding of the United States. Your friendship family is there to support and encourage you as you walk through adjustments, culture shock, and homesickness. They are also there to celebrate with you throughout the different milestones of your college career. It is a chance for you to be able to really learn what an average American lifestyle looks like. You will also be able to share your culture with them and expose them to your background, language, and way of life. Through investing your time and effort, you will be rewarded with a wonderful and new friendship.
Most students meet with their friendship families on a monthly basis for a meal or an activity. They recognize that you have other responsibilities, but they want to be available to you if you should need something. Often times they will call you once a week to see how you are doing. This provides you with someone other than your peers to connect with. Adjusting to a new culture presents many challenges and hurdles; it can be a time of great excitement and learning. Your family is there as a safe haven for you while you get used to your new home.
You are invited to share in the home of an American family. They will provide you with a secure place to relax and un-wind. All the benefits of a home are open to you with the Friendship Family program.
- Meaningful relationships
Friendships are a vital part of belonging to a community. Your friendship family is there to understand, encourage, and accept who you are. They will be able to provide valuable insight into the culture that you are joining.
- Positive experiences
Many friendship families take their students to local activities or church. They want you to be able to enjoy America and to take advantage of the opportunities and experiences that are available to you. When it comes time for you to return to your country, they want to have made sure that you had an overall positive experience.
- "Open door attitude"
Your friendship family is excited about you and spending time with you. They want you to feel comfortable with calling them should you need anything. The friendship families do everything from letting you crash for a weekend or holiday to watering your plants while you will be gone. While they recognize that you still have a family back home, they want you to feel as comfortable around them as you would with your own family.
- Inter-cultural exposure
When you come to John Brown University you bring with you a special gift; your culture, heritage, and who you are. While some of the friendship families have had international experience, most may not have and they are anticipating learning from you. Their home is a good place for you to also be able to learn about the American culture.
- Expanding worldview
Each country has different ways of viewing things. Learning from each other is valuable and necessary. You will be able to be open and honest with your family and share your opinions and ideas within a safe environment. During your time at JBU, you will be able to evaluate the ideas and beliefs of others and come to a more concrete conclusion of what you believe.