Community Connections

Welcome to the Community Connections page! Here you can find out about opportunities the OISS offers for cultural connections between international students and members of the Washington University community.

Global Friends Program

This is a cultural exchange program that matches WashU international students and scholars with members of the Washington University community.

Students and host volunteers meet about once a month throughout the academic year and do activities that interest them.

By participating in the program, students can learn about St. Louis and U.S. cultures, practice conversational English with supportive conversation partners, and hear St. Louisans’ perspectives on topics of interest.

Volunteers can pursue their interests in other cultures, hear first-hand accounts of life in an international student’s home country, and rediscover St. Louis through the eyes of an international student. Together, students and volunteers can develop connections that transcend borders.

Note: Host volunteers do not provide living accommodations.

Want more information?

Check out our Frequently Asked Questions for full details of how the program works and ideas for activities.

Interested Students

Applications will be accepted in late Fall, check back soon. Please complete the student application to sign up.


Now accepting applications! Please complete the volunteer application to get started.

Contact Information

For more information about any of the programs, or to update your information, contact the OISS at or (314) 935-5910.


Ongoing Activities

For students and scholars, the OISS Events Calendar lists upcoming events, workshops, field trips and more. Events such as ‘Halloween pumpkin carving’ and ‘Baseball 101’ are a fun way to learn more about U.S. culture. We also do trips in St. Louis and the surrounding area where you can experience life off-campus.