Two friends talk on a nice day.

Friendship Family and Cultural Exchange

Guidelines for Community Volunteers

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Submit the Volunteer Application

or

Download the Volunteer Application, fill in and return or mail to:

VCU Global Education Office
International Student and Scholar Programs
Attention: Elizabeth Hiett
817 W. Franklin Street,
Room 221
P.O. Box 843043
Richmond, VA 23284

  • The VCU FFACE program is a friendship program in which participants are encouraged to get together to enjoy activities and build a relationship of mutual respect and understanding. This is not a home stay. These students will not be living with you. If you are interested in hosting your student(s) over VCU academic breaks (Winter Break, for example), you can discuss that individually with your student(s).

  • By signing up for VCU FFACE, you are not signing up to assume the role of your students’ academic, financial, or psychological advisor. If a student presents you with any of these issues, please advise him/her to contact GEO.

  • Religion plays a key role in the lives of many Americans, as well as in the lives of many international students. Students are welcome to participate in religious activities while in Richmond, but if you are inviting your student(s) to participate in any religious activity with you, please communicate the nature of the activity clearly to them, and allow them to decline the invitation if they are at all uncomfortable. This goes for you and your family as well – if a student invites you to a religious activity, you are welcome to join if you are comfortable, but also please feel free to decline. Proselytizing is not permitted.

  • VCU FFACE is meant to give students a realistic glimpse into American culture. While of course you are welcome to plan special events for your student(s), please do not feel it is necessary. Inviting them to already-planned occasions is perfectly fine. This could be a simple evening meal at home, a family member’s birthday party, or perhaps a neighborhood cookout. We advise volunteers to integrate the students into their normal routines and activities, and we will encourage the students to do the same for you.

  • Some activities that you and your student partner(s) engage in might cost money. You are not expected to pay for your student(s). We will make this clear to the students during their orientation as well. If you are inviting your student(s) to an activity that will cost money (a meal out, a movie, etc.), please inform them of the estimated cost. Also, please be aware that some students might not be able to afford activities that cost money, so just consider that as you decide what to do with them. You are welcome to pay their way if you would like, but it is certainly not expected.

  • The expectation of VCU FFACE is that you and your student(s) will meet at least once a month. We understand that schedules get busy, but please do make an effort to communicate with your student(s) on a regular basis. VCU’s Global Education Office will coordinate several group activities every year which you and your student(s) can choose to participate in with other FFACE volunteers and students. We will inform you of these activities at least a month in advance.

  • You are expected to participate in a brief community volunteer orientation meeting with a GEO staff member (about 15-30 minutes) and the “Face-to-Face” reception at the beginning of your program term (see application for date).

  • If, for any reason, you are dissatisfied with your student partner(s) and would like to request a change, or if you have not received a response from your student(s), please contact Elizabeth Hiett (eihiett@vcu.edu, 804-828-6846) to discuss. Please do not simply ignore the situation. We would like to resolve it if possible, or find you and your student partner(s) a new match.

  • As part of the application process, you and any adult members (18+) of your household will be contacted by VCU Human Resources to request permission to perform a criminal history check at no charge to you. This is a new program requirement, being implemented for the 2014-2015 academic year. If you or any adult member of your family would prefer not to undergo the criminal history check, you can deny permission and withdraw your application. All information is confidential. 

  • VCU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, political affiliation, veterans’ status, or disability, and the Global Education Office affirms these values. Submission of your application to participate in FFACE implies your willingness to abide by these values and this policy in all program activities and relationships.
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