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Host families needed to make international students at Missouri State University feel welcome

Hands form the word "love"
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Hands form the word "love"

MSU International Friends is accepting applications for the spring 2023 semester.

As Missouri State University welcomes students from all over the globe each semester, it also offers theInternational Friends program as a way of connecting those students with the Springfield community.

The program is also a way for local families to make new friendships that can last a lifetime while learning about other cultures.

International Friends of Missouri State looks a little bit like the mentoring programs such as Big Brothers Big Sisters. A local family applies to spend a little time each month with an international MSU student — exchanging calls, emails, and text messages and hanging out in person.

Daezia Smith, with International Friends, said families can apply anytime.

"It gives us an opportunity to really help students, in particular, see what it means to be a part of the community — and that's a really important factor. Of course, you want to be involved on campus," she said, "but there's also so much richness in the Springfield community. And sometimes the best way to convey that is to provides students with the opportunity for [them] to be in the homes of families getting to personally experience the hospitality folks have and learn more about Springfield And with that benefit, it really helps our host families, too, because they they get more exposure to folks from around the world."

More information about International Friends is available on the MSU website or by sending an email to InternationalFriends@MissouriState.edu.

Mohammad Reza Hussaini is originally from Afghanistan and has worked as a youth representative for the Afghan government and the international community in Afghanistan. As a reporter, his work at KSMU is focused on localizing international news and stories.