Friends Without Borders

A  matching program connecting U.S. students with international students from around the globe

Friends Without Borders

Friends Without Borders will begin its second year in 2016-17 and is designed to pair incoming international student arrivals with returning U.S. students interested in making international student connections. It's a great opportunity to be part of an exciting program that offers personal enrichment while also helping to create a more dynamic and integrated campus. All domestic undergraduate students who will be enrolled for the 2016-17 academic year are encouraged to apply for one of the set number of spots.

This program assigns new international students to their U.S. matches in the lead up to the kickoff in October 6, 2016 where most will be introduced for the first time. After this initial mixer/kick-off event  pairs are encouraged to keep up the connection by getting together regularly during the semester. As the year proceeds, there will be a calendar of smaller events, email newsletters with activity suggestions and updates on ongoing contests in which pairs compete for prizes.

This program is not designed to require a high level of commitment from students but, rather, offers a light structure of events and resources upon which to grow initial acquaintances into friendships that may go well beyond the one year for which this program is designed.

If you are a returning U.S. undergraduate student  interested in joining Friends Without Borders, please complete this short online questionnaire and we will be in touch in the weeks surrounding the start of classes. If you are an incoming international student this Fall, more information and sign up opportunities will given during Orientation Week. Below is an example of one of the ongoing contests among pairs for which prizes were awarded during the 2014-15 year of the program. Similar contests are projected for 2016-17. 

Activity Points

1 Point
  • Each member creates their own Facebook profile if they don’t already have it, and posts to FWB page
  • Post a selfie to the FWB page of the two of you attending any on- or off-campus event
  • Carve a pumpkin together for Halloween and post a pic to the FWB Facebook page
  • Play sports together
  • See a movie together
  • Visit one of the UI museums together
  • Attend an event together that is part of one of the Cultural Centers celebration months/weeks at the University of Iowa.
  • Work out at the Rec Center together
2 Points
  • Name your team and post the name to the FWB Facebook page
  • Volunteer together: ,
  • Attend the Iowa City Farmers Market together-- Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. - noon and Wednesdays 5-7 p.m. in the Chauncey Swan Parking Ramp through Oct. 29
  • Check out a bike together from the Iowa City Bike Library Saturdays 7:30 am – 3pm
  • Cook your favorite food dish together, post pictures AND the recipe to the FWB Facebook page
  • Watch a non-English movie together
3 Points
  • Attend a Life in Iowa event together
  • U.S. students: invite your friend to a group activity with your other friends
  • International students: invite your friend to a group activity with your other friends
  • Create a 60-second video together on how to do an off-campus activity and upload to Facebook
  • Create a 60-second video together on how to do something (ride the Cambus, eat at Burge, check out a book, etc.) around campus and upload to Facebook


Questions about Friends Without Borders? Want to be more involved in program development and leadership? Please contact Kevin Roiseland, International Student and Scholar Advisor, and Taivna Mills, International Services Associate, by email at or phone (319) 335-0335.