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For Friendship Partners

At Trinity, we are committed to loving and welcoming international students and scholars at the University of Virginia. One way we do this is through matching families and individuals with internationals as "friendship partners."

Friendship partners are simply people who pursue international friendships with foreign students. Friendship partners work to show hospitality to foreign students while they are far away from home, and help them get acclimated to life in the United States. By doing so, we share the love of Christ.

The best friendship partners offer simple hospitality and follow up regularly with students face-to-face in person at least once a month, and via email or phone once a week or every other week.

Become a Friendship Partner
Friendship partners are matched with students in August, but we welcome inquiries about becoming a friendship partner year round. To sign up, contact Kevin Sawyer.

Questions We Often Hear
My family and I are really tied up with various commitments right now. I'm not sure we have the time to become a friendship partner.
You don't have to plan special activities to become a friendship partner. The best experiences happen by sharing what you normally do with your international friend. Whatever you already do regularly with your family, like having a Sunday meal, a cookout, a hike, or just a trip to the store—include your international friend. They appreciate being with your family and having the opportunity to experience American life. Most internationals never set foot in an American home throughout their entire time in the United States, and you can make a difference in their time here.

I'm not sure I have a lot to talk about with someone from a different culture.
Internationals are just like you and me. They have families; they enjoy spending time and sharing meals with friends; they have school deadlines and projects; they participate in aspects of American pop culture. Ask them about their interests and their culture, as you share yours with them.