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International Hospitality Program

What is IHP?

The International Hospitality Program (IHP) helps students develop a more personal, positive understanding of America, while allowing First Friends to develop a greater understanding of the world. The mission of IHP is to promote cross-cultural learning between First Friends and international students, provide international students with a culturally rich experience outside the classroom, and offer local residents the opportunity to make international friends.

How do we match First Friends with students?

On the basis of common interests, students are matched with volunteer IHP First Friends for one year. First Friends include students in some of the things they ordinarily do and enjoy, such as: picnics, sporting events, sightseeing, concerts, movies, hiking, shopping, or conversation and coffee. The activities will reflect individual interests and will offer an informal and easy relationship where each can come to know and appreciate the other. Monthly visits or phone calls are recommended. IHP connections can become the basis for a lasting friendship, sometimes renewed by a visit to the student's home country.

What events does IHP sponsor?

Regular IHP events include a potluck or chili supper, an ice cream social, shopping trips, airport pickups, and an annual IHP-Rotary Club picnic. Contact Karen Slaymaker at for more information.