The International Connections Program is a unique opportunity for cultural exchange and connection between students, faculty, and staff. Through the program, international students will be matched with a KU faculty or staff member, allowing participants to engage with and experience a culture different from their own.
To participate in the International Connections Program, please complete the respective student or faculty/staff application below!
What is the International Connections Program?
The International Connections Program pairs an international student with a KU faculty or staff member for the purpose of fostering cultural exchange and relationship building. The program gives international students an opportunity to engage in and experience American culture while giving faculty and staff the chance to learn about another culture.
Faculty/staff will support their matched student by creating a welcoming environment and are encouraged to invite their student to meet their family, celebrate special occasions like holidays and birthdays together, and attend university and community events. What activities and how often the pairings meet is up to the student and faculty/staff member.
The program is open to any international student, both undergraduate and graduate, and all faculty and staff at KU. Pairings are made for the semester for exchange students or through the full academic year for degree-seeking students; however, the hope is that faculty/staff members and students continue their relationship for the remainder of a student's time at KU and even beyond!
What happens during the semester or year?
At the beginning of each semester, International Support Services will host a kickoff event. However, during the semester or academic year, paired students and faculty/staff will decide what activities they want to engage in together and with what frequency. Pairings can base these activities on mutual interests or hobbies. Whatever is decided, the activities should be geared toward making students feel welcome and meaningfully enhance their cultural experience in the United States.
Ideas for Activities:
- Invite student over for a home cooked meal
- Grab coffee or lunch on campus or in downtown
- Celebrate special occasions or holidays together
- Attend athletic events, a performance at the Lied Center, or a lecture together
- Visit Kansas City or the surrounding area on a day trip
- Pick up or drop off student from airport