International Friendship Families

International Friendship Families (IFF) bring members of the diverse University of Dayton community together in a cross-cultural mentorship program. Through IFF, an international student pairs with a UD staff or faculty member and his or her immediate family.

These groups, or families, help international students adjust to life in the United States and at the University of Dayton. They facilitate occasional visits to Friendship Families’ homes, participate in campus and local events, and attend IFF-sponsored events. Faculty and staff who wish to support international students’ cultural and social integration on a deeper level will find that IFF provides a structure to do so but with more flexibility and less obligation than a traditional host family program.

For more information about International Friendship Families, contact International Student & Scholar Services

Apply for IFF

If you are interested in joining the International Friendship Family Program for the Spring 2017 semester, please take a few minutes to fill out the application below:

Family Application
International Student Application

How it works

Friendship Families and their international students abide by a few simple guidelines to ensure that all participants get the most out of their experience. Students and families independently arrange time to spend together as often as desired and at their own convenience. They may include their student in informal dinners, holiday celebrations, outings, or other events that add to the richness of the student’s experience with American culture. Students, in turn, are encouraged to invite their Friendship Families to events meaningful to them.

How long is the commitment?

One semester and renewable. We envision the program refreshing each semester with each arrival of new international students. Families are only expected to commit to mentoring a student for one semester, but may sign on for additional semesters if they feel able and willing to make that commitment.

Can I choose who I'm paired with?

In your application, you may indicate your preference for gender, academic program, and other criteria. We will do our best to pair you with someone who meets your preferences. Please understand that depending on demand and the demographics of the incoming class, we may not be able to satisfy your request.


For families:

We envision Friendship Families and students sharing meals, holidays, and occasional outings together. As a Friendship Family, you will have the opportunity to positively impact the life of an international student by enriching his or her experience. To provide structure to the program, families agree to:

  • Mentor one or two students.
  • Serve at least one semester. (Fall: August to December; Spring: January to May; Summer: May to August)
  • Attend an orientation session.
  • Attend the welcome reception. You will meet your student for the first time here. Lunch will be provided.
  • Invite your student to at least one on-campus activity (e.g. Arts Series, UD Speaker Series, workshops, performances)
  • Invite your student to at least one traditional American holiday celebration (e.g. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Super Bowl party, Easter, etc.)
  • Attend the end-of-semester party in mid-April.

Families are not expected to provide housing, transportation, or financial assistance. They are also not expected to offer tutoring or other academic support. Please refer these issues to the CIP or relevant offices.

For students:

To ensure that you and your Friendship Family have a pleasant experience, please remember the following:

  • You must attend the welcome reception. You will meet your Friendship Family for the first time here. Lunch will be provided.
  • Your Friendship Family cannot provide housing or assistance with financial, academic, transportation, or medical problems. Visit the Center for International Programs or the relevant office for assistance.
  • Your Friendship Family will invite you to participate in events and activities that will help you learn more about American culture. You are encouraged to invite your Friendship Family to activities that are important to you as well.
  • You must pay for yourself for activities that you participate in with your Friendship Family.
  • You will be paired with one Friendship Family for one semester.
  • You must attend the end-of-semester party.