The CIEP International Friendship Program is a way for students to learn American culture and conversation skills in the community. If a student is interested in having a meal once a month with a family in Cedar Falls or Waterloo, then this is the program to join! These Cedar Valley families want to learn more about international students and their cultures by becoming host families. Students will not live with the families, but will visit them and participate in family activities together.
“The students become part of your family. It’s a chance to see the world through their eyes without the expense and time of actually travelling to those countries.” – Linda Tiemessen
“She (my host mom) has truly become a second mother to me. My experience in Iowa, and the U.S. in general wouldn’t have been the same without her.” - Nadia Korobova
"I learned that if I feel comfortable with the person I will be more willing to speak in English and it is going to help me improving my speaking skills. Feeling comfortable with someone, specially someone from a different culture, can take some time, so the best way to develop a friendship is to let it naturally happen. I learned that there are Americans that really admire my effort, respect my difficulties with the language, and feel honestly happy with my achievements. I learned that I got to be really patient with myself if I want to become fluent in English. There are days in which it feels easy and natural to speak, and others in which it just doesn’t work, you lose the words, the pronunciation is bad, you can’t express yourself. It is all about patience. If a native speaker seems to be patient with me, it helps me to be more patient with myself as well." - Thais Mattos
“Through this program, my daughters have developed great close relationships with their new ‘brothers and sisters’ from all over the world.” – Duane Wessels.