Friendship Families

Friendship Families

FF Group Photo.jpg

The Friendship Family Program matches new international students of St. Catherine University with American families. As friendships develop, students and families have the opportunity to appreciate how others live and look at the world and develop a better understanding of their own culture.

Participants in this program contribute to campus internationalization, and, in a larger context, soft diplomacy for the USA. Bonds and understanding between countries are formed one person at a time.

Students from around the world

Families have an important role in shaping the experience of young women from all over the world. These are some of the countries students have traveled from to study at St. Kate's: Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, France, Gambia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Poland, Spain, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

Some stay for a full 4 years and some for just a semester or year.

Think of her as your daughter

As part of the program, the University will consider the student of the family to be their “daughter” and subsequently the Friendship Family will be invited to Parent Weekend, for example, or to send their “daughter” a basket of fruit or a rose to encourage them during exam periods.

International Potluck

At the end of the school year, the MIPS office hosts a large potluck dinner of international food, education and entertainment to which all Friendship Families and international students are invited to participate in.


We ask that you:

  • Pick her up at the airport when she first arrives and house her the first night
  • Help her move into her residence hall
  • Initiate contact, befriend her to help ease the initial adjustment period
  • Introduce her to U.S. culture e.g.: invite her over for home cooked meals
  • Inform the MIPS office of progress and difficulties

You are not asked to:

  • Host her overnight or during vacations unless you want and are able to
  • Give her any money or provide any services that are inconvenient

Become a Friendship Family


The Multicultural and International Programs and Services (MIPS) office administers the Friendship Family Program and the staff members are available as resources for any questions participants may have.