Utah Tech University

Local Outreach Programs

International Friends and Community Connection Family Programs

at university have demonstrated the many benefits of matching American families and international students in order to establish rich, long-lasting cross-cultural friendships. Our program is intended to promote and facilitate friendship and cultural exchange as an extension of the UT mission to provide every student with an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment, with caring people. The forefront of this effort will focus on mutual respect, open-mindedness, and care, so we ask both community and international participants to keep this in mind as they embark upon what we believe will be fulfilling, life-long relationships.

The program is also an opportunity for you and your family to be a part of an international student’s experience here in St. George. By opening your home and heart to some of our amazing students, you will make lifelong friendships, learn about other cultures, and enhance the cultural education of a student who is far from home.

For more information on each program, please read the descriptions below.


A family may choose to be an International Friend AND/OR a Community Connection Family.


Our Goal

The Utah Tech University Local Outreach Program is an exciting initiative to bring St. George community members together with international students from all over the world. It is meant to provide students with a foundation of cross-cultural fellowship that will enhance their learning experience in unique and fulfilling ways.

What is an International Friend?
  • Contact your international friend within the first week of being matched (After that first contact, it does not need to be initiated by the community member, but as a member of the host culture it is important to take the initiative as the friendship begins.)
  • Initiate a first meeting on campus, and coordinate with the International Student Life Coordinator so that introductions can be made.
  • Maintain contact with your international friend, and expect to get together at least 2 or 3 times per semester. More frequent meetings are encouraged if both parties are interested.
  • Commit to keeping an open mind about your international friend’s culture, language ability and time.
  • Provide transportation from campus to activities and/or to your home and back if student does not have a car.
  • Provide occasional in-home meals. Students really appreciate a home-cooked meal after eating on campus for a few weeks!  If you take the student to a restaurant, you are not expected to pay for the student’s meal — he or she will most likely have money to pay for this and other incidental expenses. However, it is fine for you to offer to buy a meal for the student if you like.
  • If you and the student share religious interests, offer to take him or her to visit at your place of worship.
  • Attend UT events with your student.  Volunteers can often get free tickets to games or events.
  • If the student is an athlete, a performer, or participates in other UT activities, support him or her by coming to watch! Remember, parents of these students typically cannot travel so far to see their children play ball or act in a play, and students love knowing that someone is out there rooting for them.
  • Just “be there” for the student, who may sometimes need a sympathetic ear or someone to provide guidance or advice. Students who are so far from home need to know that there is someone “in their corner,” and International Friends can fill that need.
What is a Community Connection Family?

Imagine what it’s like to be the only student living in your dorm over Winter Break. No restaurants on campus are open, only a handful of students are still there, and there’s not a lot to do. If you don’t have a car, you’re stuck eating takeout or whatever can be prepared in a microwave, sometimes for several weeks!  Some of our international students cannot travel home for every break, and some will not go home at all during their four years at UT. Providing them with a short-term stay gives them the chance to learn about American Life, and the experience is invaluable for both the student and the host family.
Community Connection families provide a place for students to stay for a day during breaks such as Thanksgiving, Easter, Fall/Spring Breaks, and even the Winter break.  The dates of those breaks are:

Fall Break October 15 – 16
Thanksgiving November 25-27
Winter Break December 14 – January 11
Spring Break March 8 – 12


How To Apply

Submit your Application.
Once your application has been reviewed, your references will be contacted via phone or email.
After your references have been contacted you will be contacted about an interview with the ISSO staffs.

International Students & Scholars Office

Email: iss@utahtech.edu

Phone: 435-879-4687

Office: Student Activity Center (SAC), 106