The program would match international students who are interested in establishing a mentoring and friendship relationship with a local family (or single individual) using a simple matching plan. The objective is two-fold: 1) to help students acclimate to Ann Arbor and campus life upon arrival and help them establish a supportive local network (outside of their friends) while they are away from home; and 2) to encourage cultural exchange between students and staff/faculty and to inspire learning and appreciation for diversity and cultural differences.
Staff/faculty participants would commit to reaching out to ‘their’ student on a monthly basis (or more frequently if desired). Calls or emails are great, but ideally we will create opportunities for 1-1 meetings. For example, taking the student out for coffee, lunch or dinner; invite the student to join for church; invite the student to our home for a holiday dinner (many students don’t have the resources to go home during Thanksgiving, etc. ); invite the student to a family outing; take the student shopping, provide support during a medical procedure, etc.