Towson University is excited to introduce a community-focused international initiative, TU Friends of International (TUFI), a program designed to foster intercultural sharing between visiting international students, faculty and staff and local families. TUFI is comprised of families in the Towson and greater Baltimore/Washington community who open their homes and hearts to our treasured Towson University international guests, providing support and collaboration in a variety of areas.
TUFI includes opportunities for:
- International guests to visit family homes
- Participation in on-campus educational and cultural events, including barbeques and pot luck picnics
- Cross-cultural dialogue and sharing and world language learning
- Cross-cultural service learning through community-focused projects (working alongside with TU’s domestic students)
- Growth on a personal level: understanding and appreciation for cultural values, traditions, language, food and more
TUFI Host Families:
The Office of International Partnerships is currently seeking TUFI Host Families to participate in a unique opportunity to engage international visitors this summer. TUFI Host Families are partnered with international visitors based on common interests, world languages, and academic disciplines. Although not a home stay, TUFI Host Families are expected to:
- Invite international guests to their home to share a meal/s
- Attend on-campus events with other international guests and U.S. families
- Promote, share and include international guests in additional events and activities of mutual interest
When international guests visit the U.S., they often do not have exposure to life in a home setting, which represents a critical aspect of one’s culture. TUFI Host Families provide them this unique opportunity to visit a home for a meal at a pre-arranged, mutually convenient time. The expectation is that each family and their partnered guest/s will meet at least once per month (for programs longer than a month in duration) and make an effort to be present at our welcoming and farewell events. TUFI families may invite international guests to additional community events and activities during their stay.
During the 2015 summer (July-August), more than 60 international students from Brazil, China, Ecuador, Germany, Italy, Puerto Rico, South Korea and Turkey will be attending short-term (4-week) English as a Second Language (ESL) learning programs on the TU campus. Join us in welcoming them to Towson and the U.S. as TUFI families – share culture & customs, expand your global perspective while enriching the lives of your family, and most importantly, have lots of fun!
If you would like more information and/or would like to join TUFI as a Host Family, please email Scott Pierson of the Office of International Partnerships at firstname.lastname@example.org.