Participate in the International Friendship Program to welcome international students to campus

Help Case Western Reserve University’s international students feel welcome in Cleveland by applying to be a host in the International Friendship Program.

The program helps students transition to life in the U.S., offers hosts the unique opportunity to learn about diverse nationalities and cultures, and serves as a springboard for friendships that last beyond a student’s time at CWRU.

Learn more about the program and apply to be a host.

Host and student testimonial

Last year, Lisa Kollins, institute administrator for the Social Justice Institute, and her family hosted Kayele Silue, a rising sophomore from Cote d’Ivoire.

Lisa Kollins and Kayele Silue with Kollins' family sitting around a table

Lisa Kollins and Kayele Silue with Kollins’ family

“From the first hug when we picked her up from the airport to our recent dinner celebrating the end of Ramadan, our family’s friendship with Kayele Silue has been a joy,” Kollins said. “Although she is far from her home in Cote d’Ivoire, Kayele brings a happy sense of adventure, an open heart and mind, and a wonderful spirit to each of our times together.”

Among the moments they have shared: Silue has met Kollins’ extended family, been part of birthday and holiday celebrations, taught family members a South African boot dance and cooked the family a traditional meal.

When traveling to Case Western Reserve University last fall, Silue planned every detail of her arrival carefully. Her plans were derailed by a delayed flight, which meant she missed the last shuttle from the airport to campus.

Kollins insisted that Silue allow her to pick her up and host her for the night.

“I was blessed with Lisa and her family from my first day in Cleveland—literally—and I am forever grateful to CWRU’s International Friendship Family and all the people who made this happen,” Silue said. “I sincerely look forward to spending the next three years close to them and I wish every international student to live a similar experience.”

  • Lance

    The International Friendship program is important, because being an international student away from home is difficult, on top of our already complex culture and language. Assimilation assistance must come from numerous sources to aid these young people embarking on their life’s journey. Most struggle in their efforts and need guidance from schools’ international departments, immigration protection, host families, concerned neighbors and fellow students, and even informative books to extend a cultural helping hand so we all have a win-win situation.

    An award-winning worldwide book/ebook that might be of help to anyone coming to the US is “What Foreigners Need To Know About America From A To Z: How to Understand Crazy American Culture, People, Government, Business, Language and More.” Used in foreign Fulbright student programs and endorsed worldwide by ambassadors, educators, and editors, it identifies “foreigners” who became successful in the US and how they’ve contributed to our society, including students.

    A chapter on education explains how to be accepted to an American university and cope with a confusing new culture, friendship process and daunting classroom differences. Some stay after graduation. It has chapters that explain how US businesses operate and how to get a job (which differs from most countries), a must for those who want to work with/for an American firm here or overseas.

    It also has chapters that identify the most common English grammar and speech problems foreigners have and tips for easily overcoming them, the number one stumbling block they say they have to succeeding here.

    Good luck to all at CWRU or wherever you study or wherever you come from, because that is the TRUE spirit of the American PEOPLE, not a few in government who have the loudest voice!