Case Western Reserve University’s International Friendship 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.
Read the perspectives of a host and student who have participated in the program below.
A host’s view
“We cannot begin to explain how much our family has enjoyed and benefited from having Siqi Han in our lives. We have had great fun spending Thanksgiving with him, going out to dinner, shopping at Whole Foods and seeing him in costume at Parade the Circle. We have introduced him to many of our friends who all feel the same way about him. He has enlightened us about Chinese culture and enriched our lives. In short, the International Friendship program has been a great experience!”
—Subba (GRS ‘92, biomedical engineering; GRS ‘96, neurosciences) and Rita (LAW ’90; SAS ‘15)
A student’s experience
“The International Friendship Program is fantastic! I didn’t think making friends with local residents would be easy before I met Subba and Rita. Honestly, I was a little bit worried about making friends in Cleveland because of the cultural differences. The only impression I had was that people in the U.S. make friends at bars and parties—and I had no idea how to talk with people at those places. However, Rita, Subba were very nice to me at the IFP orientation and they continue to be kind, thoughtful and nice.
“At the orientation, they encouraged me to speak English by focusing on familiar topics. When they realized that I am interested in different foods here, they invited me to a lot of restaurants; we have enjoyed Chinese, North Indian and South Indian cuisine and an American brunch. I learned a lot about the culture here, as I was able to experience how the family members make the effort to talk with each other, solve the conflicts and deal with differences. Rita, Subba and their daughter are a very warm, respectful and caring family, just like the families featured on U.S. television series. Everything I have learned from them is priceless. I strongly encourage international students to take part in this program. Also, I want to thank the organizers of this program for their efforts and their help.”
—Siqi, an LLM student, Class of 2020