- What is First Friends Program?
- How does it work?
- How can I participate in the First Friends Program?
Tennessee State University First Friends Program is designed to connect International Students with people on and off campus in the Nashville area. Coordinated by the Office of Diversity and International Affairs (ODIA), this program pairs each international student with up to three (3) friends from the following areas:
A Regional Peer – a student from the same region of the world as the international student who provides information and guidance to ease the transition to the US University experience.
A Social/Academic Peer – a current student enrolled in the same degree program as the international student who has a GPA above 2.75 and provides a social/academic perspective to help manage successful progression.
A Community Partner -- a local citizen from the Greater Nashville area who provides both cultural and cross-cultural support for the international students.
Phase 1 -- Upon Admission
ODIA draws regional peers from Tennessee State University’s current international student population. ODIA connects the incoming international students with regional peers through phone calls, e-mails and/or instant message once the University issues the I-20.
Phase 2 -- Upon Registration
ODIA draws a social/academic peer from different academic departments of Tennessee State University. Interested peers attend an orientation hosted by ODIA prior to the term end of the previous semester. ODIA makes arrangements for social/academic peers to meet the incoming students before the registration period ends.
Phase 3 – Within the First Academic Month
ODIA draws community partners from civic and religious groups as well as TSU staff and faculty. Interested community partners attend an orientation hosted by ODIA. Community partners are matched and introduced within the first month of each semester at the First Friends Reception.