Friendship Family program needs volunteers

The Center for International Studies (CIS) hosted the first multi-day international student orientation for incoming freshmen, helping students acclimate to life in the U.S. as well as the time change. This year, Wake Forest has 60 new undergraduate students, and 42 of them are from China or of Chinese heritage. One student’s mother attended Wake Forest as an undergrad! Many of them have spent some time in the U.S. either by way of vacations or boarding school, but very few of them had visited Winston-Salem.

The students who sign up for the Friendship Family program have a desire to experience the U.S. at a different level than what only life on campus can provide.

CIS is looking for people interested in incorporating international students into family activities based on both your and the student’s availability and interests. The deadline to submit an application is Thursday, Sept. 12.

The application is here:

Activities could be as simple as including the student in an occasional family dinner or delivering some goodies to campus during midterms or finals. You might invite your student to join you for a hike to Hanging Rock or for a weekend in the mountains. Some families even open their homes to students over the Thanksgiving, winter or spring breaks knowing that traveling home may be financially impossible. Whatever the activity, the most important part is interacting with your student so as to enhance the Wake Forest experience.

As Wake’s international student population continues to grow, the Friendship Family program becomes all the more important to extend Southern hospitality and help these students acclimate to American culture and customs. With families being thousands of miles away, many students are hoping to find kind-hearted people to help them adjust to life away from home.

CIS does its absolute best to match you to a student with whom you share interests. A Meet & Greet will be held on Sept. 19. More information will be sent once a student is assigned to you.

If you have any questions, please contact Sandra McMullen at

Please feel free to forward this information to other families you think may be interested in participating! Note: If you are not affiliated with Wake Forest University or Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, you will be asked to follow an additional link to complete a background check.