The Office of International Programs and Services at ETSU encourages you to apply for our International Friendship Program (IFP). There are two parts to IFP: our International Host Program and our Buccaneer Buddy Program (IBB). You may apply for either or both programs. If you apply for the IFP Host Program, you will be paired with an ETSU faculty or staff volunteer who will help you during the first few days after your arrival. Please note that this program is only available to new students coming to ETSU for the first time. The benefits of applying for the program are:
If you apply for the IBB, you will be placed in one of several small groups of around 12-14 students that includes both American students and other international students. The benefits of applying for the IFP Buccaneer Buddy Program are:
There are limited openings for the program so the earlier you apply the better the chance of being served. The deadline for applying for Fall semester is August 10 and the deadline for Spring semester is December 10. Following the applications below you can read what recent international students said about their experience with IFP and IBB.
Buccaneer Buddy Program Application for returning ETSU students only
Recent International Students Experience with IFP Host Program
Tess Israel, Netherlands
My name is Tess Israel and I’m from the Netherlands. I want to tell you a little bit about my (great) experience with having a host family. At first, I was a little skeptical about it. I was already living on my own for 3 years and was expecting good public transports. However, life in the States turned out to be totally different compared with my life back home, especially in such a small place as Johnson City. Having a host family made my arrival much more relaxed. The first few days I got used to the American time zone in a ‘family like’ environment. My American parents took me shopping, showed me around campus and could answer all the questions I still had. But also now, during the semester, they let me experience the real American life by inviting me over for dinner or taking me to some nice places in and around Johnson City. So, besides that having a host family is really practical, it also gives you the opportunity to experience more of the American culture. I would say: “Just fill out the form; having a host family is great!’.
Shi Dexin, China
Before I left China, I applied for the friendship program for international students in ETSU. I thought, well, it is not a bad thing; at least, I could have someone pick me up from the airport. However, this program gave me much more of a surprise; what I got was not a simple host, but also friendship and an American family.
I will never forget the moment I arrived at Tri-City airport. Other international students and I walked restlessly into the waiting hall. I saw my name on a paper held by my host person, , a beautiful lady with short, curly blonde hair named Kim. I waved my hand and said hello to her. She gave me a big smile which blew my tensions away. We introduced ourselves to each other and then we went to her house. We talked a lot on the way home. She spoke slowly and when my poor English was not fluent, she smiled and encouraged me. This was the first time I had spoken English to a native speaker, but I did not feel bashful; on the contrary, I became more confident.
In her house, I met her family members, and we had a welcome party that night with Lissy, another host person and her host students. We ate a big meal and had a great time talking. I stayed one night in Kim’s house since the university dorm building was not available. The next day, Kim drove me to get familiar with Johnson City and the campus. She helped find what I needed at Walmart and the grocery store, and helped me move in to my dorm.
More than that, in these nine months since I came to the U, S., we became really good friends. Although China is 8,000 miles away, Kim gave me a warm, family feeling here in Johnson City. I cannot find the proper words to describe my thankfulness for Kim and the friendship she gave me.