The Friendship Family Program is designed to supplement international students' Lawrence experience by getting them off campus and into the community. It's also an informal way to experience typical American family life, culture, and traditions.

Why Join?

The Friendship Family Program is a rewarding experience for both international Lawrence students and local Appleton families! Learn and share your respective cultures, and experience or provide a family connection for those far from home.

View the most recent Newsletter:

Picture of family with international student.
Family with international students

Time Commitment and Costs

International Student Services typically hold two to three casual gatherings, like picnics or potlucks, a year for everyone in the program. Aside from these gatherings, students and their matched families will determine how frequently they would like to spend time together. Some friendship families meet once a week while others are happy meeting once a term. 

Friendship families are encouraged to identify free or low-cost activities to share with their matched student, such as meals, family gatherings, and day trips. While some families may choose to invite students to special events or dinners, students equally enjoy activities that give them a chance to get to know their matched family and to experience typical American family life, culture, and traditions.

Need Activity Ideas?

Explore our list of free or inexpensive activities that past friendship families have enjoyed!

How Matches are Made

Students and families are matched based on the following considerations:

  • Similar interests and hobbies
  • Fit preferences for both parties such as gender, country of origin, religious background, and comfort level with pets
  • Expressed time commitment plans

Addressing Match Concerns

If you have concerns regarding your matched student or family, please notify International Student Services.

You are encouraged to address the issue directly with each other, and to notify ISS of any updates. ISS can also facilitated the conversation as needed. Sometimes you'll find that a cultural difference is at the root of the concern and can be addressed. 

If the issue cannot be resolved (seldom), please notify ISS that the match is not a good fit and a break from the program is needed.