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Friendship Family Program

iFriend Program

iFriend Year Long program

Applications for participation in the iFriend program are available through our issLink website (  ISSLink enables international students, scholars and volunteers to complete electronic applications that will be stored in the issLink database. Participants will then need to attend an iFriend session.  The current schedule for New Host and Student Sessions is available at the bottom of this page.

International Student and Scholar Applications are available in issLink in the Volunteer/Intership section. Click on iFriend Services and complete the e-form. 

Host Application using ISSLink:

iFriend Hosts (including student hosts) can request the needed ID and log-in information for ISSLink by clicking on  You will then be contacted with your ID and instructions for using ISSLink. If you need any help with this process, please feel free to contact us at


There is more to education than lectures, textbooks, and term papers. Some of the most rewarding and informative experiences will occur outside the classroom and library.  We like to encourage our students to learn more about the world outside the university.  We also recognize that the students themselves have a lot to offer the NW Arkansas community and each other by sharing their time, experiences and culture.

Throughout the United States, there are American citizens that wish to welcome international students and scholars to their communities by inviting them to visit their homes, to share a meal, and to learn about American culture.  iFriend matches these individuals with students and scholars attending the University of Arkansas. The goal of the iFriend program is to connect international students and scholars with the NW Arkansas community for cultural exchange and development of cross cultural friendships.   iFriend hopes to improve the world one friendship at a time!

The iFriend is an umbrella program offering two options for students and the community to get involved, Friendship Family and Campus Cousins.  Friendship Family matches an international student or scholar with individuals and every type of family from the NW Arkansas community.  Campus Cousin matches international students with domestic U of A students.  We also offer the opportunity to share a meal through Dinner in an American Home which is offered once a semester.

Friendship Family

Friendship Family matches international students and scholars with individuals and families of all types for a social relationship.  This is not a home stay program.  Hosts are requested to meet with their students at least once a month and keep in touch between meetings.  Hosts share their traditions, holidays, events, and everyday life with their students or scholars.  Students and scholars are encouraged to share their culture and travels with their host family.  These relationships can last well beyond the school year.  Many participants find that they truly become a family.

Campus Cousins

Campus Cousins match international students with domestic University of Arkansas Juniors, Seniors, and Graduate students to establish a peer friendship.  The students have the opportunity to share campus life and events as well as their cultures of origin. We ask that our Campus Cousins meet at least once a month and stay in touch between meetings. 

The iFriend Program is completely flexible and can easily meet the mutual needs and schedules of the students and host families or individuals. After each new host and international student have both attended one orientation session and completed the on line application the matching process can begin!

Thank you for choosing the iFriend Program.  I know that this will be a rewarding experience that you will never forget!

To see past iFriend Pictures follow this link

New iFriend Host Orientations (hosts choose one):

Saturday, August 8, 2015, 1-2:30 pm

Monday, August 10, 2015, 6:30-8 pm

Tuesday, August 11, 2015, 6:30-8pm

Monday, August 17, 2015, 6:30-8 pm

Thursday, August 20, 2015, 6:30-8 pm

Tuesday, August 25, 2015, 6:30-8 pm

Monday, August 31, 2015, 6:30-8 pm

New iFriend Student and Scholar Orientations:

 Saturday, August 15, 2015, 3:30-4:30 pm

Thursday, August 20, 2015, 1-2 pm

Friday, August 21, 2015, 1-2 pm and 3-4 pm

Saturday, August 22, 2015, 3:30-4:30 pm

Monday, August 24, 2015, 4-5 pm

Thursday, August 27, 2015, 1-2 pm

Please contact Karen for more information at

Thank You,
Karen Beitle
iFriend Program Coordinator