Two international students and their community friends at a bowling alley

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What is the Marquette International Friendship Program?

The Marquette International Friendship Program is designed to encourage interaction between Marquette’s international students and the Milwaukee community. We hope that this experience will help students and community members to break sterotypes, discover the city, share a new understanding with others and discover a new friend.

What is the International Friendship relationship like?

The friendships in the program develop based on the individual personalities of the students and community members. As you get to know one another, the relationship will establish its own direction. Just relax and be yourself. The students simply want to experience day-to-day American life, so just include the student on what you normally do.

What are common activities students and community volunteers enjoy?

Most often a match will share an interest based on a specific activity that they both enjoy. Other times a match will just prefer to get coffee and chat. Include your student in normal activities that you do anyway, as opposed to creating special events. Your student will find excitement in ordinary things like trying American food or experiencing typical “American” activities like carving a pumpkin, fishing, attending a local cultural event or sporting event. And while it is not required, the program encourages volunteers to invite their students to any holiday celebrations as appropriate. These are often an excellent way for our students to learn about American culture.

May individuals participate in the Marquette International Friendship Program?

Yes! We encourage both individual community members and families to join the program.

What is the length of commitment?

The formal match lasts for one academic year, from September to May. We encourage all matches to get together once a month. This is the start of what could be a lifelong relationship where you and your student will learn from each other and grow together.

Whom will I be matched with?

You will be matched with an incoming, first-year international student at Marquette University. Students come from all over the world. The majority are from Asian countries with smaller numbers coming from Europe, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. If you are interested in connecting with a student from a particular region of the world, we will do our best to arrange a match. Use this unique opporutnity to get to know someone from a country you would like to learn about!

When will I meet my student?

One-on-one matches will be made in the first few weeks of the fall semester. Marquette’s Office of International Education will host a "Meet Your Match" kickoff reception where students and community friends will meet for the first time.

How do I join?

If you are interested in participating in the program, please complete the appropriate application using the links at the left by September 19.