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“I think I give her comfort that someone is always thinking about her and hoping she’s adjusting well to the city and UB. It’s like a big sister/little sister relationship, and I try to achieve one event per month that involves our like interests.”

Sabrina Hines, a UB employee and UB Friends volunteer

The UB Friends Program was created to ease the transition into American culture and the university setting for new international students.

 The program matches a new international student with a friendship volunteer (a UB student, faculty, staff or alumni) with whom he or she can visit, enjoy an occasional meal, celebrate holidays, participate in community events and enjoy the exchange of international friendships.

There are no rules to successful friendships; The only requirement is that there is an honest respect for each other's ideas, customs and worldviews. Often the friendships which develop between international students and the Americans they meet last a lifetime and bridge the distance between countries and cultures.

  • Program Goals

    • Integrate UB students into the UB community
    • Assist international students in understanding American culture by providing them the opportunity to experience a segment of American life
    • Stimulate discussion and exchange of ideas about culture, customs and international matters among the UB community
    • Facilitate cross-cultural friendships and communication to increase knowledge of global perspectives
  • Student Information

    The UB Friends Program is an opportunity to:

    • Learn about American culture and UB
    • Develop new relationships and make friends with an American
    • Share information about your country and culture, and yourself
  • Friends Volunteer Information

    The UB Friends Program offers an opportunity to:

    • Get first- hand experience and fresh perspectives about another culture
    • Introduce an international student to American culture and traditions
    • Gain an appreciation of the different cultures that can be found on our campus
    • Add to the richness of a UB international student’s experience in the United States
  • General Information

    • After applications are received from interested international students and friendship volunteers they will be “matched”
    • Matches are made throughout the semester/year as students and volunteers apply. Students and volunteers may wait a to be paired. We are dedicated to pairing individuals with similar interests, so it may take time.  
    • Orientation for friendship volunteers will be held prior to each semester
    • Students do not live with friendship volunteers in this program
    • We recommend that friendship volunteers and international students get together for some sort of planned visit at least once a month. In order to maintain regular contact we suggest that friendship volunteers make contact by phone or other means on a weekly basis in addition to the planned monthly activity
    • The friendship volunteer and student decide what they would like to do. Many people like to share meals, go on outings and celebrate holidays together
    • Activities might include: birthday celebration, picnics, outings to museums, occupational and professional experiences, sporting events, political and community meetings, elementary and high school programs, and national holiday observances.

Students may request a volunteer at the beginning of each fall and spring semester.

Last Published 10/2/15