Every August, a new international cohort of Cornell Humphrey Fellows arrives in Ithaca, New York. While each Fellow is an accomplished professional in their own right, many begin their fellowship feeling lonely, uncertain, and disconnected from their family and home country. That’s where we—the Friendship Partners—come in.
The Friendship Partner Program is a part of the Humphrey Fellowship experience that matches Fellows with local community members. We provide Fellows with another friendly and helpful American face, give a feeling of connection and family, and serve as a “cultural bridge” and resource, adding to the overall sweetness of the program.
For Friendship Partner volunteers —many of whom already have a global perspective and love traveling—it is a wonderful, enriching chance for us to continue to travel vicariously while getting to know others from around the world to share thoughts and experience new things. We do it for the service, the joy it brings us, and the lifelong global friendships it so often inspires.
Some of the common activities provided by Friendship Partners include:
- Celebrating holidays or birthdays
- Going ice skating
- Eating a meal out or cooking and sharing traditional foods together
- Carving pumpkins
- Enjoying a waterfall hike
In the reflections below, Friendship Partners give just a taste of what the 2020-21 Friendship Partners have experienced with Fellows.
Reflections from the 2020-21 Humphrey Fellowship Friendship Partners
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