mobile icon

  Friendship Family Programme

The Friendship Family Programme is designed to give international students a chance to have first-hand experience of the local culture and way of life in a local family, in addition to life on campus.

The Friendship Family Programme is designed to give international students a chance to have first-hand experience of the local culture and way of life in a local family, in addition to life on campus. At the same time, the families get an opportunity to learn about the students' home countries and cultures. The idea is to spend time together, doing things that are mutually interesting and enjoyable, and get to know each other. Activities could involve: dinner at the family house; holiday celebrations such as pumpkin carving for Halloween; Burns Supper and Christmas activities; and attending local events.

The families and students will exchange contact information and can then contact one another independently. It is up to the student and the family to decide how often they meet and how they will spend their time together. The family can help the student to adapt to new circumstances and thus make the study period abroad easier and more enjoyable. 

Getting to know the local way of life is best done by taking part in regular family life and in the hobbies of the family. So join the Family Friendship Programme and experience a home from home cultural exchange. 

For more details email or apply here​.


Who is the programme for?

The programme is for international students and staff families at Edinburgh Napier University. Friendship families range from large families with children, single parents, young couples, retirees and singles. There is also no age barrier to the international students.

Why should I apply to be a friendship family?

As a friendship family, you will have the opportunity to interact with a student from an international background, and hopefully build a meaningful relationship throughout their time at Edinburgh Napier. You and your family will learn about your student’s country, culture and language, and you can share a little bit about your life and culture with them. Students and families can continue their relationship after they graduate.

As an international student, why should I apply to be a friendship family?

A friendship family can serve as a really valuable connection point, friend and resource for you throughout your time at Edinburgh Napier. They help introduce you to your new surroundings and culture. It also offers a great opportunity for cultural exchange where you can share your own culture and background about life in your home country.

What do students/families do together?

Activities can vary from dinners at the family home to local events. The activities can be discussed and decided between the student and family according to their interests.

What is expected of friendship families?

Spending time with their student in person a few times throughout the semester, making them feel welcome within a different country and helping them adapt to life at Edinburgh Napier University. 

What is not expected of friendship families?

Families are not expected to spend money on their student although you are free to do so if you wish. You are not expected to provide housing or transport either.

What is expected of students?

Students are expected to communicate with their friendship family, for example returning phone calls, text messages and emails. Students should be mindful that friendship families are invested in the programme and have dedicated time and energy to getting to know their student. Students should keep in mind that this is a volunteer program. Friendship families are not reimbursed for any expenses that may be incurred and it is appropriate for students to offer to pay for themselves, and highly encouraged to always thank families for their generosity and kindness.

What is not expected of students?

You will not be expected to work for the family.

How are families and students matched?

We consider preferences and interests expressed in the application from both parties and match the families to students accordingly. We also take into account preferences regarding families with/without children or pets, smokers vs. non-smokers, and anything else you'd like us to take into account. Please note this in your application.

What if I have concerns or the situation is not working out?

Both students and their families have the right to leave the programme at any time by contacting

If any problems occur, the families and the students are requested to contact immediately.

​​​ | Edinburgh Napier Mobile App