New Member Information

Befriend an International Student, Scholar or Spouse

FFIS is always in need of globally-minded, caring volunteers to host new international students at the beginning of each term or become a conversation friend to a new student, scholar or spouse. Volunteering with FFIS is a great way to make new international friends and become one of the most important people in a young person’s life!


When you sign up to be an FFIS volunteer you become a member of our non-profit organization. As such, as ask that you agree to our Guiding Principles and reconfirm your commitment each year upon request.


All new members are asked to attend an orientation with an FFIS Steering Committee member. Orientations can be arranged individually or you may attend a group orientation when announced. An orientation is required before we can match you with an international student, scholar or spouse.

Background Checks

The UO conducts background checks on new FFIS volunteers in order to ensure a safe and secure environment in which UO international students, scholars and spouses are protected, while protecting the integrity and confidentiality of information gathered during the evaluation. The name and email address of each adult living in the household will be sent to UO Human Resources which contracts with a background check vendor, Risk Mitigation Services. You will receive an email from Risk Mitigation Services with a link to fill out your own information online. The FFIS Liaison for the UO will notify volunteers when the background check is completed which typically takes about three business days.

International students also go through a security check when applying for their student visas to come to the U.S. and sign a waiver release and assumption of risk agreement prior to participating in the Short-Term Homestay program.


FFIS is a non-profit volunteer organization with no paid staff, and we receive limited funding from the University of Oregon. Your voluntary donation to FFIS supports our ongoing programs for international students, scholars and their dependents throughout the year.

We suggest a $25 donation, but all contributions are welcome. Please make checks payable to “FFIS.” Donations can be mailed to:

Friendship Foundation for International Students

c/o Office of International Affairs

5209 University of Oregon

Eugene, OR 97403