All invited to be part of cultural exchange

Monday, July 27, 2009


ST. CLOUD, Minn. - The International Friendship Program, a community-university partnership that brings area residents together with St. Cloud State University international students for greater understanding of one another’s cultures, is inviting everyone in the community to participate.

More than 1,100 international students from more than 80 countries attend classes at St. Cloud State.   Students appreciate the opportunity to experience the culture of the United States through personal relationships, according to Molly Hoffman, international student adviser, in noting that such friendships are already in place for some students who have paired up with families in the community.  New international students arriving for the start of fall classes will appreciate being matched up with a family. 

Participation in the group requires only a willingness to include St. Cloud State students in activities already on your schedule, according to Hoffman.   Activities could include joining you for meals, for family outings, when you attend your son’s or daughter’s Little League game, take a ride in the country, attend a family wedding, celebrate holidays or go fishing.

For those interested only in a one-time cultural exchange, the Center for International Studies also organizes a Thanksgiving Program in which community members invite students to their homes to celebrate the holiday.

Information sessions for new and potential applicants will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 11, at 11 a.m. and Thursday, Aug. 13, at 5:30 p.m. in the Oak Room at Atwood Memorial Center on campus.  For more information on culture sharing programs and to apply, contact the SCSU Center for International Studies, 320-308-4287 or

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