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  • Oct 31: Homecoming Alumni Golf Tournament
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News

Events

News

Events

  • Oct 31: Homecoming Alumni Golf Tournament
  • Nov 1: Homecoming Dukes' 5K Run/Walk
  • Nov 1: The Breeze "Farewell Seeger" Open House
  • More >

LIFE Program

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Guidelines and Expectations

Guidelines and Expectations for International Students and Scholars

  1. The LIFE program is a social relationship meant to facilitate friendship and cultural exchange.  Friendship families are NOT expected to provide housing or assistance with financial, academic, or medical problems. The Office of International Programs can assist you with these issues.  
  2. Student(s) are matched to a friendship family for a period of up to one year depending on the start.  If the relationship is mutually beneficial, we encourage you to continue it as long as you are studying at JMU.
  3. Volunteers are expected to attend the LIFE reception at the beginning of each semester where they will meet their student(s).   
  4. Your Friendship family should invite you to participate in social events and activities that will introduce you to new aspects of American culture.  You are encouraged to also invite your Friendship family to activities that are important to you as well, such as a presentation you will give, a birthday celebration or a sporting event.
  5. Ask your Friendship family and their family about their customs, country, values, belief systems, food etc. Take a genuine interest in them, but remember to be patient and open minded as you observe differences in culture.
  6. Religious institutions are an important aspect of American culture. If you wish, you should have the opportunity to learn about them. However, if you are invited to a religious activity, ask your Friendship family about the nature of the event and then decide if you want to participate or not. Remember that you have the right to choose.
  7. You must be willing to pay for yourself for activities that you participate in with the Friendship family (movies, shopping, etc.). If the activity is too expensive, politely alert your Friendship family.
  8. If, for any reason, your Friendship family is not compatible with you, you may request a change.  Do not neglect the situation. To discuss, contact Hunter Swanson, the LIFE coordinator.

Guidelines and Expectations for Friendship Families

  1. The LIFE program is a social relationship meant to facilitate friendship and cultural exchange.  Hosts are NOT expected to provide housing for international students, or assistance with financial, academic, medical or psychological difficulties.  Students should be encouraged to contact the Office of International Programs (OIP) or the appropriate services at JMU to address these concerns if they should occur.
  2. Students and a family are matched for a period of up to one year depending on the start date.  If the relationship is mutually beneficial, friendship families are encouraged to continue the relationship as long as the student is studying at JMU- and beyond.
  3. Participants are expected to attend the LIFE reception at the beginning of each semester where they will meet their student(s).    
  4. Friendship families are urged to connect at least once per month. Whenever possible, invite your student(s) to join you for birthday parties, athletic events, concerts, lectures, special activities, etc.  Let them experience your typical activities living rather than treating them as guests. This offers them a more genuine view into American culture and will also be easier for you. Also, if your student invites you to one of their events, please try to participate.
  5. Encourage your student to talk about his or her family, customs, country, values, belief systems, food etc. Take a genuine interest in them, but remember to be patient and open minded as you observe differences in culture.
  6. Religious institutions are an important aspect of American culture. International students should be able to learn about them if they wish.  However, if you invite them to a religious event or holiday, clearly state the nature of the event and allow the student the right to choose if they want to participate or not.  Proselytizing is not permitted.
  7. In most cases, allow students to pay their own way to activities they will be told to expect to do this during their orientation. However, be sensitive to the student’s ability to pay when inviting them to participate in an activity.
  8. If, for any reason, your student is not compatible with you and your family, you may request a change.  Do not neglect the situation. To discuss, contact Hunter Swanson, the LIFE coordinator.