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International Friendship Program


Alex Pia

Director of International Student Services

2 E. South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401



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Students walking on the south side of Old Main

*Due to Covid-19 concerns, this program is put on hold.*

With 17 percent of Knox's students hailing from outside the United States, representing over 50 countries, the international student population at Knox brings incredible cultural diversity both to campus and to the Galesburg community. The Office of International Student Services (OISS) invites Galesburg families and Knox international students to participate in the International Friendship Program, and embark on a journey of cultural learning, exchange, and friendship.

About the International Friendship Program

The International Friendship Program is a non-residential cultural exchange program to foster friendship and cultural learning between Knox international students and community members. Families and students will make a commitment to meet for the academic year (September - May), but are encouraged to stay in touch during winter and summer vacations, and to continue participating in the program during the following academic year!

There will be an opening reception at the beginning of the year and a closing reception at the end of the year. Families and students should arrange other meeting times and activities as they like. Throughout the year, OISS will provide suggestions for activities, conversation topics, and invitations to campus events.

Friendship Families are not financially responsible for their students.

What to Do Together

The International Friendship Program is a great way for international students to learn about life in America outside of a college campus, and for community members to learn about another part of the world. Fun activities for families and students to do together include meeting for coffee, tea, or a meal, cooking together, going grocery shopping, going on a trip to Peoria or the Quad Cities, including the student at family gatherings or holiday celebrations, playing games, exploring Lake Storey, attending community events, or attending campus events (such as International Fair or Family and Friends Weekend). Families and students are also encouraged to talk about the student's home, family, and culture, and perhaps even cook some of the student's favorite dishes from home together.

How to Participate

If you'd like to learn more about Knox international students and what it might be like to participate as a Friendship Family, please contact Alex Pia. Families and students will begin receiving information about their matches in August. 

If you know you'd like to become a Friendship Family, please submit an application. We know that "family" may have different meanings to different individuals and cultural traditions. Anyone and any type of family is welcome to apply to be a Friendship Family.

Applications for new students are available on your student portal. Students whose home address is outside the U.S. are invited to participate.

OISS will do our best to make matches with mutual interests or preferences as indicated by students and families in the application. However, please keep in mind that you will likely not have everything in common with your match, and this is a great opportunity to learn from one another!

Knox College

Printed on Monday, May 20, 2024