Friends of International Students (FIS), a Northwest Missouri State University organization, recruits community members to be matched with Northwest international students.

The number of international students continues to grow at Northwest and more friends are needed.

FIS is an organization dedicated to providing support to students as they adjust to living in a new country by matching them with community members.  The program is a cultural exchange whereby members are able to build relationships and learn about different cultures.

The program goals are to provide support to the students as they become adjusted to their new home and to promote friendship and understanding between people of different nationalities.

Many international students are drawn to the opportunity to have a ‘home away from home,’ make friendships and experience American culture through family and community events. As students become more familiar with the community they also become more active citizens.

Single people, families, retirees, etc. can all become friends to international students. Friends apply because they want to share their time and talents with others. Having an interest in helping others and a desire to learn more about another culture is all that is required. The diversity of the friends adds a special flare to the program as these people gather for small group and group activities.

Friends and students are asked to make contact once a month during their year-long commitment to the program. Contact can take many forms, including family dinners, attending sporting events, going through a Halloween haunted house, raking leaves together, a quick phone call or text…

Friends and students can spend as much or as little time together as their schedules allow. This allows each relationship to be individual and special. From the feedback received from friends and students alike, this program is both enriching and enjoyable.

FIS normally holds two group events each year. At the fall picnic, friends and students may meet in person for the first time. The second event is in the spring and usually consists of a potluck and interesting cultural presentations.

To apply, visit For more information, contact the International Involvement Center at 660.562.1367 or email