Friendship Family Program
What is the International Friendship Family Program?
The friendship family program at NCC matches new international NCC students with local U.S. families. The purpose of the program is to give students and families the opportunity to build relationships and share cultures in a unique, personal, and fulfilling way. After being paired over early fall term, all student-family matches are invited to a welcome reception in the fall to meet, greet, and get to know one another. Students and families then arrange to spend time together on their own (either off-campus or at NCC) as often as mutually desired. Friendship Families may include their student in informal dinners, holiday celebrations, occasional family outings, or any other event that adds to the richness of his/her experience in the U.S. Many times NCC students invite their Friendship Families to on-campus events and programs open to the public. The initial commitment is for the fall term, but many students and families choose to remain in contact and maintain their relationships throughout the students' time at NCC and beyond.
Friendship Families include NCC faculty members, administrators, and staff members, as well as residents in the Naperville community. Friendship Families may be single individuals, couples, partners, or families with children of various ages.
This past summer, the Sen family reunited with their student from 4 years ago Melek (center) from Istanbul, Turkey. The Sen family continues to be a devoted friendship family to our international students at North Central College.
What have other Friendship Families experienced?
"We had a wonderful friendship family experience this fall with Becky from the UK. We enjoyed thursday dinners at our home. We also had the chance to carve pumpkins, make carmel apples, go out to Benihana, and visit Starved Rock. Additionally, we enjoyed meeting Becky's dad who came to visit just before she returned home. It was wonderful learning about Becky's home, her studies, and her family. It has been a delight to be Becky's friendship family."
"We had a wonderful time with our students from Seville (Diana and Tiffany). The 10 weeks flew by and we were said to see them leave. The high points were taking them to an apple orchard on a Sunday afternoon for apple picking and inviting them over to our house for Halloween and a casual supper. We also went out to eat at Quigley's in Naperville and at California Pizza Kitchen at Oak Brook, followed up some shopping at the mall. My husband and daughter (who had studied in Seville) truly enjoyed our time with the girls."
"It was very nice to have [the students] this weekend. They are very nice boys. They are polite and easy-going. We showed them how our family spends our normal weekend. We took them to see our son's friend's playoff baseball game. They also played sports (baseball, basketball and of course soccer) with our 15-year-old son and his friend. Of course, they also played PS3 games! We went out for ice cream and concluded with a miniature golf game that they both enjoyed a lot. We think they not only learned a lot about English and American baseball but also French! Both of them and our son are studying French in school. They had a good time talking to one another in their limited French. We also learned their culture and language as an exchange. It was a great experience for us to see all teenagers think the same no matter what country you are from!"
"Our family picked up Lily tonight & took her out for dinner. Then, the 3 kids and I went for a quick tour of her dorm room..... Also, we are in the process of making arrangements for her to visit my daughter's social studies class and speak to the other 8th graders about life in Kenya and Nigeria."
"We very much enjoyed the weekend with the students and feel we know much more about Qatar than we did. Thanks for the opportunity."
"I wanted to express again how great it has been to be a part of the friendship family connection. Valera is such a terrific person-our family is so lucky to know him. Thanks for all you do to keep the program so strong."
"We ended up taking him with us to the Kuipers Family Farm on Saturday. We had a great time and he enjoys spending time with us on family stuff. Our son really likes him, too."
"We had a fun, relaxed, educational weekend with our two young men. Towards the end, they had become best buds with our pets, and were huddled around the computer checking out our sixteen-year-old's Facebook page."