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International Friends and Family Program

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Stony Brook University’s International Friends and Family Program (IFFP) creates opportunities for Stony Brook University international students and the surrounding community to establish mutually rewarding relationships.  It provides a chance for international students to interact with local community members and provide a cultural exchange of country, culture and language.

The program is NOT a homestay program and does not offer housing or financial support for students.

Mission & Vision

Our mission is to build meaningful personal relationships that celebrate cultural diversity by connecting international students with neighbors and community members.

Our vision is to create a welcoming, inclusive environment for our international students during their time at Stony Brook by providing a unique way to engage in American life and culture to complement and enhance the student’s educational experience.  

We aim to promote diversity by increasing multicultural awareness and understanding.

 

View Testimonials

 

  • International Students

    Program Information for International Students

    What is the International Friends and Family Program (IFFP)? 

    • IFFP provides newly admitted international students for the fall semester with continuing friendship and involvement with volunteer community members and families in the United States. 
    • Both students and their community member friends can have the enriching experience of a cultural exchange and gain a new perspective about the world. 
    • A community member may be a large family group, a retired couple, a working couple or an individual.
    • The only prerequisite is the desire to make an international student feel comfortable in his/her new setting.
    • Students are invited to interact with a community member or family who offers friendship to them during their studies at the university.
    • These relationships often turn into lifelong friendships. 

    The program does not offer housing nor financial support for students. It is not meant to be a home-stay program. Unfortunately at this time the program is not available to continuing and non-degree seeking international students.

    How do I apply?                                                      

    It's as easy as 1-2-3!                                                              

    Step One:   Newly admitted international students can access the International Friends and Family Program (IFFP) application from within the I-20/DS-2019 Request within accessVIS.

    Step Two:   You will be paired with a community member using an algorithm based on interests, personality and other commonalities.  Please be as honest as possible when completing the application.  

    Step Three:   You will be introduced to your community member via e-mail from our office.  It is then up to you both to set up a date/time to meet. 

    The University hosts a reception on campus for all program participants at the beginning of the Fall semester. 

    Application Deadline

    Applications should be submitted by August 1st at the latest.   

    We are limited in the number of community participants, so apply early!

    Frequently Asked Questions


    Contact

    International Friends and Family Program (IFFP)
    Visa & Immigration Services

    E-5310 Melville Library
    Stony Brook, NY 11794-3393
    Phone: (631) 632-1140 
    Fax: (631) 632-7064 
    Email: iffp@stonybrook.edu

  • Neighbors & Community Members

    Program Information for Community Members

    What is the International Friends and Family Program (IFFP)? 

    • Soon hundreds of international students will be arriving at Stony Brook University to begin their academic careers in search of advanced degrees. For most it will be their first time in the United States.
    • They might not have any family or friends here, and are in a completely foreign and unfamiliar environment.
    • Stony Brook University International Friends and Family Program (IFFP), provides a newly arrived international student with the friendship of a local family.  
    • It is not a home-stay program; students live on or near campus. 
    • Community members  invite students to share an occasional meal, some local sightseeing or a favorite activity. 
    • Both students and community members can enjoy the enriching experience of a cultural exchange and gain a new perspective about the world. 
    • A community member may be a retired couple, a family group or a single individual.
    • The only prerequisite is the desire to make an international student feel comfortable in a new setting.

    Please note, participation in the program will require a background check for community and family members 17 years and older.  

    How do I participate?                                                      

    It's as easy as 1-2-3!                                                              

    Step One:   Complete the online application HERE

    Step Two:   You will be paired with a student using an algorithm based on interests, personality and other commonalities.  Please be as honest as possible when completing the application.  

    Step Three:   You will be introduced to your student via e-mail from our office.  It is then up to you both to set up a date/time to meet. 

    The University hosts a reception on campus for all program participants at the beginning of the Fall semester. 

    Application Deadline

    Applications should be submitted by July 22nd at the latest.   

    There is a great student demand for community member connections, so apply early and help us spread the word! 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Contact

    International Friends and Family Program (IFFP)
    Visa & Immigration Services
    E-5310 Melville Library
    Stony Brook, NY 11794-3393
    Phone: (631) 632-1140
    Fax: (631) 632-7064
    Email: iffp@stonybrook.edu

Testimonials

 

Eugenia Soroka, Ukraine"It is an exceptional opportunity for sharing cultures, moments, memories, and building new friendships."

Eugenia Soroka, Ukraine

"It is an exceptional opportunity for sharing cultures, moments, memories, and building new friendships."

Tej Gorde, India"Great for cultural exchange. They are welcoming. It feels like having a new family. Amazing experience!"

Tej Gorde, India

"Great for cultural exchange. They are welcoming. It feels like having a new family. Amazing experience!"

Gurveen Saluja, India"It is a great exposure for international students. It helps to understand the American culture and also give us an opportunity to share our culture as well."

Gurveen Saluja, India

"It is a great exposure for international students. It helps to understand the American culture and also give us an opportunity to share our culture as well."

Pamela Murphy, Community Member"I hosted a Graduation Party at my home for several international students. It gave these kids a sense of family on their special day, photo opportunities, cake, presents and memories for a lifetime."

Pamela Murphy, Community Member

"I hosted a Graduation Party at my home for several international students. It gave these kids a sense of family on their special day, photo opportunities, cake, presents and memories for a lifetime."

Dee Hensen & Dave Hensen, Community Members"We've been doing this for ten years, great program.  We've made friends from around the world.  Helping students and having fun at the same time.  Life doesn't get better than that!"  

Dee Hensen & Dave Hensen, Community Members

"We've been doing this for ten years, great program.  We've made friends from around the world.  Helping students and having fun at the same time.  Life doesn't get better than that!"