International Friendship Program

Expand Your Understanding

“Not only has this experience taught me a lot about a region of the world I never gave much thought to, it amazes me how much I’ve come to care about these people and their history. I’ve made meaningful relationships that will last a lifetime.”
— Moira, Friendship Volunteer
“Getting a friendship volunteer really made a big difference in getting used to the place. This program is just amazing for international students. It’s been a great experience with RGC”
— Sidharaj, International Student

Every year, thousands of international students choose to study in Rochester and join our community. Friendship Volunteers are often vital to the success of the student as they face many new challenges in a foreign county. Volunteers are matched with an international student and are encouraged to show them unique local destinations and the power of friendship.

This program is mutually beneficial for students and volunteers as we seek to enhance intercultural communication through international understanding of cultures, traditions, language, education, and religion in an increasingly global world.

Benefits Of The Program:

  • Create lifelong friendships.
  • Learn about other cultures including new cuisines and languages.
  • Expose your children to different cultures and possibly an international “sibling”.
  • Practice the privilege of being a “Citizen Diplomat” by shaping positive U.S. foreign relations and changing global and personal perspectives.
  • Become a tour guide in your own city.
  • Make a positive difference in the lives of people from around the world.

How does the International Friendship Program work?

Both Friendship Volunteers and international students complete an application. Participants may make specific requests about matching preferences, but an important part of the program is open-mindedness and flexibility. Thus, if requests cannot be fulfilled, participants are asked to be flexible.

Matching is based on hobbies, special interests, etc. that students and volunteers have in common based on their application forms. Friendship Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and can be individuals, couples, or families.

Volunteer Testimonials

“Being able to mentor them, guide them, take them places, and learn about their country, feelings and ideas has been a priceless experience for me. I have learned first hand how committed they are to their careers and improving their lives while confirming that people the world over have so much in common in their core values and motivations”
-Lois, Friendship Volunteer
“I would encourage everyone to take this chance to really get to know and understand young people from other countries while they are studying here as it will change your life, while erasing any ideas you may have that somehow Americans have core differences from others”
-Anonymous, Friendship Volunteer
“My experience with Rochester Global Connections has been more then positive and exceeded all of my expectations! I was lucky to work with four students from around the world. We formed a little ” family”. Two of the students are from China, one is from Jamaica , and one is from Rwanda”
-Joanne, Friendship Volunteer