Guiding Principles

  • Students are matched with hosts for a period of one year, as long as it is mutually satisfying, with an obligation to get together a minimum of once a month. Although the relationships may continue well beyond the year, we hope hosts will make themselves available to other first year students in subsequent years.

  • Call or email your student to introduce yourself within one week of being matched.

  • Any student inquiries regarding the following should be referred to the International Student Services (ISS) office, 520 621-4627:

    • Employment instructions
    • Immigration and Visa Issues
    • Academic problems with professors, advisors and administrators
    • Financial problems
    • Major medical problems
  • School work and study are every student’s first priority.

  • Proselytizing is not allowed. If you invite your student to a religious activity, make the nature and sponsorship of the activity clear in advance. Respect their wishes if they choose not to go. International Friends (IF) is about mutual respect and friendship.

  • Do not offer financial loans, guarantees for visas, or loans for purchasing cars, leasing apartments, etc. And, do not ask for loans from students. It is strongly recommended that you do not establish a landlord/tenant relationship with your student.

  • It is strongly recommended that you do not establish a landlord/tenant relationship with your student.

  • Obey US laws, including those governing alcohol, employment, etc. Sexual harassment is not tolerated and must be reported to International Friends,, or the ISS office, 520 621-4627.

  • Do not take student into Mexico unless cleared by the ISS office, 520 621-4627. Visa status could be put at risk.

  • Clarify special requirements, such as dietary, religious, or other customary practices to avoid problems and confusion.

  • Consider inviting student to your home within the first month or two. Provide transportation for the student’s first visit, if possible.

  • Advise student of the types of pets you own.

  • Invite student to your home within the first month or two if possible.

  • Research and become familiar with your student’s country and culture. Find out about attitudes, ethnic groups, language, food, gift giving, etc.

  • Share views on each other’s economic and political systems. Talk about current news events, but do not pontificate or alienate.

  • Spend time with your student answering questions about traditions and customs in the US. Ask your student to share stories and show pictures of home countries, families, and friends.

  • Invite your student to picnics, sporting events, your workplace, and celebrations such as birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, holidays, and local festivals. Take day trips, visit city and surrounding area sites, museums, and attractions.

  • Advise the ISS office, 520 621-4627, if your student seems to be having a difficult time adjusting. If you have problems in establishing a relationship or no longer wish to participate, please notify International Friends,

  • While graduate and undergraduate students may not serve as IF hosts, they are welcome to participate as volunteers at IF events.

  • Promotion of non-International Friends organizations, programs, events, membership, and sales of non-IF-related materials are strictly prohibited at IF events unless participation has been requested/approved by the IF board.

International Friends, Inc.

International Friends is an all-volunteer organization that brings together international students attending the University of Arizona and Southern Arizona residents.