Living far from home in a new and potentially unfamiliar culture, students studying abroad often appreciate the kind of supportive anchor that a local family can offer them. The Friendship Family Program at Juniata College can become a good opportunity for both students and families to share one another’s cultures in a family home setting. This is not an off-campus “homestay” program; students continue to be housed and boarded on the Juniata campus. Students and families determine together when and how often they will meet and what their activities will be—normally getting together 3 to 5 times per semester.

Typical Student-Family Activities 

  • Traditional American holidays: Thanksgiving, Pumpkin carving, decorating the home for the winter holidays
  • Shopping together in a nearby city
  • Local sports and/or cultural outings: baseball games, concerts, visits to local US historical sites, parks, museums
  • Family events at home: birthday celebrations, television, cookouts, boating, visits with grandparents and extended family members

Family Responsibilities

  • To invite the student to participate in typical family outings: shopping, sports or cultural events, family activities, seasonal activities
  • To provide a hospitable family atmosphere that is supportive of the student
  • To become aware of the student's campus-life/academic interests and plans for breaks and holidays

Student Responsibilities

  • To integrate with the family as family member, not just as a household guest
  • To honor commitments made to the family and be willing to share one’s time and interests with the family
  • To share one’s own culture and be receptive to the culture of the family


The Juniata College Center for International Education


Jessica Martin
Director of Language in Motion
Friendship Family Coordinator
(814) 641-3493
e-mail: martinj@juniata.edu