International Family Connect - Students

Experience, Knowledge and Friendship

What is the ORU Connect Family Program?

ORU International Family Connect (IFC) is a successful program run by the International Student Center. This program links international students with local ORU families. Birthed and founded on the conviction that we should take care of each other and walk in love as Jesus did, the program provides a home away from home for international students. This makes them feel more welcome and it also provides an opportunity for both the students and the host family to learn from each other which enriches their knowledge and understanding of both cultures. This will enrich the Tulsa community in the long run. Our goal is to provide a platform for a Godly intercultural experience for international students and host families as we exhibit the love of Christ!

How do I join?

The first step in joining this program is to fill out an application that can be found on a link provided by the International Center. Once you have filled out the application we will do our best to match you with a local family according to the preferences listed on your application.

After you arrive at ORU we will share your information with your friendship family so they can arrange your arrival. Having a friendship family is very helpful in your initial adjustment to ORU. If possible, they will pick you up from the airport and have you stay with them at their house for the first few days before the residence halls open.

If I join, what will I be doing with my connect family?

When you first arrive, your friendship family will strive to create a smooth adjustment for you by showing you around the Tulsa area- showing you where to shop and helping you move into your residence hall. Throughout the year your friendship family will invite you over for family dinners, holidays, and other various social activities. The main purpose is to create a sense of home for you at ORU while also providing local families a wonderful opportunity to bring a different culture into their home. The International Center will also be in communication with you throughout the year to check in and invite you to special events.

Expectations & Guidelines

International participants of IFC are expected:

  • to maintain regular communication with their friendship family- returning phone calls, emails and other forms of communication in a timely manner
  • to meet with their family at least once a month
  • to respect traditions and political beliefs of their friendship family
  • to facilitate a cultural exchange
  • to be flexible in perception of another culture
  • to complete participation surveys/ evaluations
  • to be committed to their friendship family for at least one year.

Local Families participating in IFC are expected:

  • to attend the Friendship Family orientation at the end of the summer
  • to maintain regular communication with their student throughout the year- returning phone calls, emails and other forms of communication in a timely manner
  • to meet with their student at least once a month
  • to facilitate the student’s adjustment to a new cultural environment
  • to introduce the student to an American culture
  • to participate in special events organized by International Center
  • to be open to learning about a new culture
  • to respect the student’s political beliefs as well as his/her cultural traditions
  • to complete participation surveys/ evaluations
  • to be committed to their student for at least one year.