1. Go where you’ve never been
Take a journey into the heart of a country and its people. Friendship Force International conducts over 260 programs every year, in 365 communities in 55 countries. Friendship Force hosts are eager to welcome you into their culture, sharing sights and experiences that are not available to tourists.
2. Get off the beaten track
There’s no better way to see a new place than with a friend who knows its “best kept secrets.” You might dine in a palace in Indonesia, visit a remote village in Africa, or see a polo match in Argentina.
3. Cultural immersion
Through the unique Friendship Force program of home hospitality, international travelers are hosted in the homes of local families. In this way, you can get to know a new culture from the inside. For example, you might learn local pastimes, such as calligraphy in Japan or snowshoeing in Canada, or you could learn family recipes in your host’s kitchen. You might even be invited to a religious ceremony or a wedding.
4. Personal friendships
When you travel or host with the Friendship Force, you get to know real people by sharing real life. Often, friendships are formed that last a lifetime.
5. Bring the world to your doorstep
As a Friendship Force host, you can explore the world without leaving home by extending the hand of friendship to international guests. It’s a rewarding experience to give your guests an up-close, insider’s view of life in your country, either through overnight home hospitality or daytime cultural activities.
6. Represent your country
When you travel or host with the Friendship Force, you have the opportunity to share knowledge of your country and culture with new friends from around the world. Through friendly conversation and everyday experiences, you become part of changing the way others see your culture and the world.
7. Make a Difference
There are many opportunities to make a difference in communities around the world. For example, you can help your new friends practice your language, bring supplies to a needy school, or host foreign teachers attending a professional development program in your city.
8. Pursue your passions around the world
Themed programs allow participants to come together to explore a common interest in a unique region of the world. You could spend a week exploring the gardens of England, studying biodiversity in Costa Rica, touring vineyards in New Zealand, or cycling the Niagara Falls region, all with the company of international friends who share your enthusiasm.
9. Lifelong learning
The Friendship Force promotes lifelong learning through a variety of travel and hosting programs. For example, programs especially for teachers and students promote education across borders. Language learning programs provide the opportunity to spend a week in a foreign country with a host family, in full language immersion.
10. Promote Global Goodwill
Friendship Force participants greet the world with an open mind and respect for other cultures. In this way, each person makes an individual contribution toward global goodwill.