Ways to get involved


These opportunities are for Cleveland, Ohio volunteers.

View Upcoming Events

Online Friendship Partner

"Love foreigners as you love yourselves." - Leviticus 19:34 NCV

Hospitality is a big part of what IFI is about, but how can we welcome students when we are asked to practice social distancing? How about welcoming foreigners into our lives via the internet...

Two of the biggest felt needs of international students, scholars and their families are...

1. Help with conversational English. They need a friend to practice their English with who will be a good listener and patient to answer their questions.

2. Decrease in loneliness. They need an individual or family to help them adjust and adapt to their new surroundings and culture and to provide emotional and even spiritual support during this unique period in modern history.

By volunteering to be an online friendship partner, you can help meet students' needs and begin to build relationships that could be life changing--for both of you! (Watch this video made by IFI Columbus to learn more about how transformative these relationships can be.)


IFI provides volunteers like you the opportunity to help by being an Online Friendship Partner: 

We ask that you seek to connect with your assigned student for an online chat at least once a week for the duration of the semester. Most conversations will probably run about 30 minutes  providing a chance to begin developing a friendship and helping the student become comfortable with conversational English.  In regards to meeting in person, we ask that you follow the state's recommendations during these constantly changing times.  Please ask the Lord for wisdom. Currently, we're encouraging volunteers to primarily engage with students online, though a face to face visit or walk in the park is certainly not discouraged.

Below is a helpful guide for Friendship Partners developed prior to the pandemic.

How do I become an Online Friendship Partner?

  • There may be a list of students waiting for an online friendship partner so please complete the questionnaire below.
  • If you are not already an IFI Volunteer, you can expedite the process by going to Get Started to complete an application, background check authorization and short training.

Online Friendship Partners

  • Here are a few questions to help us match you with a student:

  • Thanks so much for your interest

    We will be in touch with you if/when we identify a student whom we would like to connect with you.