Each fall, students interested in the Friendship Family sign-up for potential host families. At the beginning of 2016, we had a total of 56 families and 73 students participating in the program. And with our international student numbers continuing to increase, it is our hope that the Friendship Family program serves as an additional resource for students to connect with local families and learn from each other.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of FAQs from students and parents concerning the Friendship Family Program over the years. If you have any additional questions, please contact the Center for Global Programs & Studies.

  • Do I have to be a part of the WFU community to apply as a family sponsor?

    No, you do not have to be connected to Wake Forest University to apply. We welcome any one who is interested in learning about a different world culture and showing our students a different perspective on American life outside the walls of Wake Forest.

  • Am I at a disadantage if I do not sign-up in the fall?

    This depends on the number of student applications and the number of family volunteers. Typically, we try to match students and families in September of each year; after that time anyone remaining is placed on a waiting list until matches become available.

  • Is there a deadline to apply?

    No, but we encourage those interested to complete applications by early September before the Meet & Greet.

  • Does this program include a committment from the student or family sponsor?

    Nothing official, but by filling out an application our expectation is that the matched student and family will be in somewhat regular communication and see each other 2-3 times during both the fall and spring semester, depending on availability. Once your family-student relationship is established, we hope it will continue to grow beyond the auspices of the Friendship Family Program.

  • What kind of things do students do with their family sponsor?

    Some families take their students on trips (hiking, family outings, kids’ sporting events, festivals, etc.) and most invite them to join the family for dinner on various occasions, either at the home and or a favorite local restaurant. Regardless of what most families do, the goal of this program is for students and families to make a connection at whatever venue deemed appropriate for both parties.

  • What should I do if my family/student cannot find time to meet?

    We understand given different schedules and demands that this can potentially be difficult. However, please keep trying! As a family you’re probably pulled in many different directions. Wake students have a priority of their academics and other campus commitments. So it may take some effort, but it will be worth it. And if seeing each other isn’t possible, just make sure to communicate with each other via emails or snail mail. Students especially are appreciative of mail and/or treats during midterms and finals week!

  • What if I do not have the time or resources to treat my student on special outings?

    You do not need to plan special outings, but figure out ways to incorporate your student into a family activity. For example, inviting your host student to your child’s sporting event. You should not feel compelled to go out of your way to provide an extravagant adventure for your host student, unless you really want to! Our students are most interested in seeing how an American family lives on a regular basis.


This is a fluid program with many moving parts. Due to the number of people and schedules involved, our office only plans two events each year. Other activities should be scheduled between the family and student.

September Meet & Greet

The Meet & Greet is an event designed for Friendship Family students and families to have an initial meeting once matched. We usually host this event one evening at the end of September at the Byrum Welcome Center located on Wake Forest’s campus.


February Appreciation Dinner

The Appreciation Dinner is the second event of the academic year hosted by our office. The purpose of this event is for students and the Center for Global Programs & Studies to show gratitude towards all participating families in the Friendship Family program. Typically, this event is held in mid-February on Wake Forest’s campus.

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