For the upcoming 2019 to 2020 academic year, newly admitted international students will be able to participate in the International Friends and Family Program (IFFP), formerly called the Host Family Program. This free program creates an opportunity for local neighbor/community members to connect socially with international students.
Community members and Stony Brook University international students will be paired and connected through email before the start of the semester. It is important to note that this is not a home-stay program. Participation activities can include cooking a meal, exploring the outdoors, attending on-campus events and sharing a holiday.
The mission of the IFFP is to build meaningful personal relationships that celebrate cultural diversity. Both students and community members can enjoy the enriching experience of a cultural exchange and gain a new perspective about the world. The program is managed through Visa and Immigration Services, a unit within the Office of Global Affairs that serves Stony Brook’s international faculty, scholar and student populations regarding immigration documentation and compliance.
“We recognize the value of new international students feeling a sense of belonging to the Stony Brook community; this program is a wonderful way to provide that opportunity for students, as well as offer community members the opportunity to engage and grow in cultural exchange with our international students,” said Lindsi Walker, Senior Assistant Dean of International Academic Programs and Services. “It’s a mutually beneficial relationship for the students, community and the institution.”
The deadline to apply for community members is July 1, 2019, and for international students the deadline is August 1, 2019. The online application can be found at stonybrook.edu/visa/life-at-sbu/iffp.