Cornell International Friendship Program

Cornell International Friendship Program (CIFP) is a friendship program which connects international students and scholars with local community members and families.

Mission

The International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) is committed to providing a broad range of support services to its students and scholars who have come to Cornell to study, teach or conduct research. Among the many resources that ISSO offers, the Cornell International Friendship Program matches students and scholars with alumni and other local community participants who are committed to providing cultural, educational and social support. This program is intended to enhance the lives of all participants who will share experiences, learn new skill sets, and build lifelong relationships. Popular activities may include sharing holiday dinners, sight-seeing, picnicking, shopping and including the student in family celebrations or events.

Matching Process

Local community volunteers are collaborating with the ISSO and the Office of Alumni Affairs to provide this service.

International students/scholars and local community participants may register and enroll in the program by completing the appropriate online registration form.

Please note that CIFP is intended for those internationals who will be at Cornell for at least one full semester. Due to limited resources, CIFP is not available for those who are only here for summer programs.

Once forms are submitted, matches will be made as soon as possible between international and local participants. This may require some time depending on availability. We sometimes experience a shortage of local community participants, and so there may be a delay in the matching process. Thank you for your patience.

If you are a new student/scholar, we will not be matching you with a local community participant until near the time you arrive in the US. Once a match has been made, the participant and local community participant will both receive information about their match. The local participant is expected to make the first contact with the international student or scholar.

The Role of the Local Community Participant

Local participants are expected to be a resource for international students and scholars who are seeking additional support as they adapt to a new environment. Support may include assisting with questions about American culture and the Ithaca community or simply providing friendship and a sense of belonging to a newcomer. Participants are encouraged to meet at least once per semester, and may also want to communicate by phone, text or email. Local participants in this program will not be providing housing for international students or scholars.

After the initial match is made, locals and internationals are responsible for developing and maintaining their relationships. Time commitment and level of involvement will vary in each relationship based on the needs of participants. Matches can be for a year or as long as needed or desired by the local and international. If the match is no longer active, please notify us immediately by sending an email to cifpithaca@gmail.com. At that point you may choose to have a new friendship match or wait until the next school year for a match. The ISSO will periodically offer programming and events for CIFP participants to attend.

Training Video

To view a training video, created by Rice University, which provides guidelines for participants click on this link.

How to Enroll in CIFP

To enroll in CIFP, go to the online registration link at the bottom of this page, and then select the appropriate box, either "I have a NetID" or "I do not have a NetID."

Individuals with a Cornell NetID must use the first box. If you are a new incoming international and you have not yet activated your NetID please go to the following website to activate your NetID (http://netid.cornell.edu) and then complete the registration form below.

If you are a local community participant and do not have a Cornell NetID, or you are an international participant who is a spouse of an international student/scholar and not eligible for a Cornell NetID, use the "I do not have a NetID" box to complete the online registration form.

Release Form: This form releases Cornell University of any liability and damages or injury related to participation in this friendship program. Participants registering with a NetID will be signing the release form electronically, and will not be required to submit additional paperwork.

Participants without a Cornell NetID will be required to download and complete the appropriate release form below.

Submit ONE release form:

Please carefully read the release form, sign it, and ask a witness to sign it. Within 5 business days, send the completed release form in PDF format to Stu Berg at cifpithaca@gmail.com, or you may contact him at (607) 273-9216 to make other arrangements if this is not possible. Once we have received the release form, you will be matched with a local community participant or international student as soon as there is availability.

You will receive an email confirmation of your enrollment in CIFP, and additional information regarding the program once you have completed your online registration.

Email any questions about the Cornell International Friendship Program to Adriana Rovers in the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) apr6@cornell.edu.

Complete online registration.