Friend Family Programme

International Services of Jamk University of Applied Sciences coordinates the Friend Family programme, which aims at familiarising foreign students with the Finnish culture and way of life through a local friend or family.

Each year Jamk receives new exchange and degree students from all over the world. The Friend Family programme offers them a chance to get to know Finland and the Finnish culture through everyday life. At the same time it offers locals a chance to internationalise, learn about other countries and cultures, as well as to practice and improve their language skills.

Please note that the Friend Family programme is not active at the moment due to the corona situation. We hope to resume the programme as soon as possible.

Students blowing dandelion seeds

Participating in the Friend Family programme

The Friend Family programme is organised on voluntary basis. The family and student decide together when and how often they want to meet, and what activities they participate in. The friend family is not expected to support the student financially or to arrange expensive activities.

Families can participate in the programme for a semester, an academic year or longer. They may also take a break from the programme and come back again later.

The students in the programme are either Jamk's exchange or degree students. Exchange students stay with us for one or two semesters and degree students for longer.

Experiences on the Friend Family programme

Family Silvennoinen has been a part of the Friend Family programme for several years. The family tells that meetings with their student friend usually shape around the family's daily chores and hobbies. They highlight the fact that the meetings require no special arrangements. In fact, it is best to have the student friend as a part of the family's normal everyday life.

Being a part of the Friend Family programme and getting to know new students has brought "the world into our living room", says the family Silvennoinen. Thanks to the meetings with their student friend, they feel like their language skills have improved without much extra effort. Additionally, dealing with foreign students has brought them new perspectives into their own environment and enhanced their intercultural understanding.

To foreign students meetings with their friend family provide an opportunity to gain insight into a new culture as well. The students who participate in the programme are delighted to see what the everyday life of a family looks like in Finland. Both at home and in the free time.