International Friendship Program

The International Friendship Program promotes friendship and cross-cultural exchange by connecting families and individuals from Watauga County with international students and scholars from Appalachian State. Together, these pairs of local and international friends get together on a regular basis to have fun, make memories, learn from each other, and build lasting friendships.

See below for more information about the program and how you can get involved!

International Friend FAQ

The International Friendship Programs pairs international students/scholars at Appalachian State with a local family or individual from Watauga County. This family or individual will be a contact, resource, and friend as you transition to life in Boone... and you will get to learn about and explore the local area in the process!

This is not a homestay program, so you will not live with your local friends.

We suggest you meet with your local friends at least once a month, but your interactions will depend on your mutual interests. You decide how and when you spend time together!

You can choose to do activities together ranging from cooking a meal, to exploring the outdoors, to attending on-campus events…. from sports to the arts! This is a great way to learn about local culture and experience parts of America that you may not otherwise see on-campus.

The International Friendship Program is FREE to join!

If you do any activities that cost money with your local friends, you should always offer to pay for your own expenses. If your local friends offer to pay for you (dinner, movie, etc.), of course it is okay to accept their kind offer—however, you should not assume your local friends will take care of your expenses, and it is not appropriate to ask your local friends to buy you things.

The International Friendship Program attracts a wide range of families and individuals from all over Watauga County. Your local friends might be a family with small children, a retired couple, an individual from age 25 to 75… the possibilities are endless! OIED Staff will carefully review your application to match you with someone with shared interests.

You will be paired with the same local friends until you complete your studies/work at Appalachian State. For some, that could be one semester; for others, that could be a couple years.

Feel free to contact international-outreach@appstate.edu with any questions about the International Friendship Program.

Local Friend FAQ

The International Friendship Programs pairs local families and individuals with an international student/scholar at Appalachian State. You will be a contact, resource, and friend to someone new to this country, and new to Boone... and you will get to learn about a different part of the world in the process!

This is not a homestay program, so your international friends will not live with you.

We suggest you meet with your international friend at least once a month, but your interactions will depend on your mutual interests.

You can choose to do activities together ranging from cooking a meal, to exploring the outdoors, to attending on-campus events…. from sports to the arts! Inviting your international friend for everyday activities such as meals, errands, or family gatherings is a great way to connect & share American culture, as well.

The International Friendship Program is FREE to join!

As local friends, you have no financial obligation to your international friend. If you wish to offer to pay for activities or meals, that is welcome but not expected.

International students are enrolled in classes at Appalachian State – some will complete their entire degree at ASU, while others are only visiting ASU for a semester or two. Most international students are individuals in their early- to mid-20s.

International scholars are visiting professors, researchers, or graduate students from outside the United States at Appalachian State. They may have families of their own also living with them locally.

You can indicate whether you would prefer to be paired with a student or a scholar on our online form.

Yes. You do NOT need to speak another language to participate in the International Friendship Program. However, if you do speak another language, this is a great opportunity to practice with a native speaker!

You will be paired with the same international friend until they complete their studies/work at Appalachian State. For some, that could be one semester; for others, that could be a couple years.

You can indicate in our online form whether you prefer a long-term or short-term partnership.

Feel free to contact international-outreach@appstate.edu with any questions about the International Friendship Program.