Frequently Asked Questions from our Friendship Families

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Can I be a friendship family if I am single or divorced?

  • Yes, anyone interested can be a friendship family (host) as long as they are a follower of Jesus

Can I be a friendship family if I have no previous experience with international students?

  • Yes, this program is perfect for people with little or no experience because the students have no experience with Americans and have no expectations
  • TFN also provides a training to equip new families with more information on what to expect and how to relate to your student. 

How will I communicate with my student?

  • You will be responsible for contacting your student after you are initially given their contact information. After the initial contact you can exchange email addresses, phone numbers, or Facebook information depending on what the student may use here.

After I am placed with a student, what if I have more questions or need guidance?

  • Your church coordinator and the TFN planning team are here to help you with any question/problems you may have.

How does the matching process work?

  • After applications are received from families and students at the beginning of each fall and spring semester, the TFN planning committee meets to match students and families based on interests and compatibility.
  • You should have the contact of your friendship student no later than September 1st for the fall semester and January 15th for the spring semester.

Do I need to host my student overnight for the holidays if the dorms are closed?

  • No, students can stay in the dorms during the holidays for a small extra fee. 
  • Although there is no expectation for hosting your student, many families see this time as an opportunity to include their student in their holiday celebration.

Am I expected to pay for all the activities I include my student in?

  • No, please let your student know the cost of the event beforehand so they can decide if they would like to attend.

Am I expected to give my student rides to go shopping?

  • No, however if you have regularly planned grocery or shopping trips scheduled, this is a great opportunity to include your student. All Washburn students have free access to ride Topeka City Buses.

Am I expected to give my student a ride to the airport?

  • No, Washburn will pick up all students at the beginning and end of their school year. This does not include school breaks or personal trips the student may take.
  • KCI RoadRunner is a shuttle service that can provide transportation to the airport. To view website please click here.

What are going to be some needs of my friendship student?

  • They are just like any other college student new to Topeka. Any advice you could provide would be greatly helpful. They may have questions about:
    • cell phone services
    • local restaurants
    • places to travel during school breaks
    • local shopping and activities

How do I better connect with my friendship student? 

  • Be sincerely interested in them. Learn all you can about their culture, country and family through them. 
  • Be willing to assist them when they need help