Fort Hays State University's Office of International Student Services is seeking students and local families to host international students.
Volunteers are not responsible for housing, legal matters, health and/or emotional problems, immigration or government obligations. They are only responsible for the "fun," said Marnie Kohl, administrative specialist of student affairs.
The Friendship Family Program is a system that matches up families and FHSU students with international students who have similar interests. It needs families and students who are interested in helping international students adjust to Hays and American culture. This could include attending an American wedding, a movie, going to the Mall or even giving them a ride to Wal-Mart.
This provides an opportunity for people of different cultures to learn about each other's families, goals and personalities.
"The goal of the program is to get families in the community more involved and not just students," said Kohl.
With help from Marty Kraemer, community director of the Friendship Family Program, this goal is becoming a reality.
"There's no experience required to join the program, and it’s a wonderful way to broaden your horizons while reaching out in the community to help others. It's a great program," said Kraemer.
Zixin Zhang, an international student also known as "Ivy," became interested in the Friendship Family Program because, "I wanted to make new friends and improve my English."
Application forms are available in Sheridan Hall, room 208, or by e-mailing Kohl at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, call (785) 628-4276.