Friendship Family Program

This program gives international students the opportunity to build relationships with local families and share cultures in a unique, personal, and fulfilling way.

Program Overview

Friendship Families volunteer to help students adjust to college life and serve as a an additional resource within the local community. Students get to know their host families through occasional visits to their host families' homes and by spending time with them on special occasions and outings.  Friendship Families also benefit from the opportunity to learn about another culture, and another part of the world beyond the Upper Valley.


The Friendship Family Program pairs students with host families who welcome them to the U.S. and help them adjust to college life at Dartmouth. The program kicks off with a Welcome Event at the beginning of fall term, during which students and families meet over refreshments in a casual environment. The program also hosts various events throughout the year, including outings and events such as socials and BBQs. Families remain in contact with students throughout the term and may also invite students to dinners at their homes or at local restaurants.

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 Dartmouth and even beyond. Friendship Families include Dartmouth faculty members, administrators, and staff members, as well as residents in the surrounding Upper Valley communities.  Friendship Families may be single individuals, couples, partners, or families with children of various ages.


"I have loved my FFP experience. My family opened their home to me, they have provided me with a support base and invited me to participate in American traditions I would never have experienced otherwise. The Friendship Family Program is great!"-- Janine Leger '15

"Adapting to a new environment can be challenging, and your first impression of the college can end up defining your opinion for the next four years. The care and support from a warm and loving family has definitely made me perceive Dartmouth as a close-knit community. From the open conversations and the delicious home-made meals provided by my friendship family, I've no doubt felt at home even whilst living in a foreign country." - Yannick Yu, '15

“The International Friendship Family Program has been a wonderful opportunity for our family. We now know two students who come from places far removed from the Upper Valley whose perspectives on Dartmouth and on the United States are refreshing and interesting. Our daughters have made a personal connection to the global community. We have all made lifelong friends. I would recommend the International Friendship Family Program to anyone in the Upper Valley who is interested in exploring the diverse and fascinating world we live in, one student at a time.” – Kate Soule, Dean of the Faculty Office