Here's what students are saying!
"Just like its name, The Friendship Program: Home Away From Home helped us settle down in Calgary, making this place our second home. Studying abroad means not only going to school in a foreign country, but also diving into a different culture.
"This program is a shortcut for international students to make friends with local families, know the city, and get involved. They invited us to their Thanksgiving dinner, Halloween party, New Year's Eve and much more. We felt so lucky to witness the birth of their baby. There were so many amazing adventures and sweet memories with their company.”
Cheng and Jingping, Masters in Engineering & Accounting, 2020
"They were so nice with me. They included me in their family and have always helped me with anything. All international students should sign up for this. It will help you a lot to know more about Canada and its culture.
"Whenever someone asks me, 'So, your family is in India, right?' I always reply, 'yes, I have my family in India, but I do have a family here.'"
Parth, Masters of Engineering, 2020
"We didn't know anything about the culture here and couldn't connect with any local people. Then I came to know about the Friendship Program and got connected to a local family along with a friend of mine. We are having wonderful experiences with that family. We were able to ski, go to camps, know about local cultures just because of the family and the program.”
Vijay, South Asian Masters Student, 2019
“Without doubt, the Friendship Program is a valuable, meaningful program especially for newly-arrived international students like me. I strongly recommend that new students take the opportunity to experience the rewarding journey during the time of their study.”
Marshal, PhD Engineering Student, 2015
“This incredible family and Calgary has not only influenced my understanding of Canadian culture but also inspired me to contribute to the Canadian community’s service and growth. I would certainly recommend that you browse the website and take the chance to enrich your experience in Canada as an international student.”
Ranjan, PhD Student, 2015
“When I first came here, I didn’t know any Canadian people. I felt so lonely. It was then I came across this program… the family they connected me with is so nice that I was so eager to meet them often! In their family, I could see how they live and enjoyed life! Being connected to a Canadian family, has given me much more than I expected!”
Ming, MCS Student, 2012
Here’s what families are saying!
"We adopted [Parth] yesterday as his surrogate family! He thinks I make the best vegetarian lasagna. His parents raised a wonderful guy, [and I'm] glad to have him in our lives!"
Karen, Friendship Family, 2021
“For us as we opened our home it has been more than our hearts could of imagined! Being our first time we were a little anxious trusting the language barrier would be no problem and then a concern was would they be comfortable with us! Right from the moment they arrived our hearts were connected with theirs… we are very humbled as they have expressed their love to us and cannot wait “to see us quickly” and we have already set up our next date. Truly a joy discovered as we give of ourselves—one receives much more back and it is priceless!"
Ron & Judy, Friendship Family, 2015
“We have really enjoyed being involved with The Friendship Program: Home Away From Home. Though this friendship program, we have been introduced to students from all over the world. We’ve been honoured to learn about our new friends and what life was like for them back home, what beliefs and dreams they cherish, as well as what challenges they face at this stage in their lives. We’ve particularly enjoyed opening our home and sharing our family life as well so they can experience how families in Canada live as well. This is a such a good opportunity that we are even encouraging other Canadian friends to sign up so that they too can make friends from around the world.”
John, Friendship Family, 2015
“We have had much more than first contact, actually. Our first meet we all went to a Steve Bell concert. We then had them over for New Year’s Eve with some friends. They then invited us over during the week of Chinese New Year, and we had hot pot (which was amazing, you should try it if you ever get the chance). We absolutely love these people and get along really well with them. We’ve learned a lot about their cultures and have shared much about ours. Hopefully our next activity with them will be to head out to Canmore for an afternoon and a short hike at Grassi Lakes or something.”
Josh, Friendship Family, 2014
“Wes and I have been blessed to be a part of The Friendship Program: Home Away From Home. This year we have two wonderful gals from China. One has a husband and an 11 yr old son who will be coming to Canada sometime this year. We have had three visits with these gals. We first met them when we had them to our home in Airdrie for Thanksgiving Day in October. Other members of our family were also here and got to know them. Many questions were asked and answered from both the girls and our family. Our son and daughter-in-law enjoyed them so much she wanted to have them over at Christmas.”
Martha & Wes, Friendship Family, 2012
“It is always fascinating learning about people from other cultures and how they do life. Our time as a host family was beneficial as we experienced Canada through their eyes, and we enjoyed sharing with them as they begun their new journey here. This is such an easy way to become connected and bless students – I would highly recommend this program to others!”
Dan, Friendship Family, 2014