East Carolina University
Office of International Affairs

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First Friends Program

The Office of International Affairs will match incoming international students with an ECU student who will be assigned for one academic year or one semester (for short-term exchange students).  This program strives to create connections between current students and new international students.  For more information please contact Dr. William Mallett @ (252) 328-1939 or mallettw@ecu.ecu. If you are an ECU international student and are interested in applying, please fill out the First Friends application for international students. All other ECU students, please fill out the First Friends application for domestic students.

1. What is the First Friends Program (FFP)?

The goals of this program are to…
  • Introduce new international students to current ECU students and to create mutual exchange of culture and friendship.
  • Assist international students to adjust to life at ECU and the United States as quickly and smoothly as possible.
  • Enhance international students’ satisfaction with their academic and social experience.
  • Provide an excellent opportunity for students to increase their educational experience, gain cultural insight and make new friends with people all over the world.
2. First Friends Program FAQs

How do you make mentor-mentee match?
Both mentor and mentee will fill out an application to be in the program. The applications will have questions that help determine the background, interests, preferences and other important information that will help us to decide the best mentee-mentee match.

How Do I know who my mentor-mentee will be?
You will be sent information about the student to whom you are matched with via e-mail.  The mentor is responsible to contact the mentee and begin meeting with them.

Are there any suggestions for activities that I can do with my mentor-mentee?
Here are some suggested activities:
  • Going to International House together once mentee arrives in Greenville
  • Helping new students with registration and the orientation process
  • Looking around campus together
  • Shopping at the grocery store
  • Attending an ECU athletic event
  • Going to a local restaurant together
  • Attending a family dinner/holiday meal
  • Attending International House events

How often shall I meet with my mentor/mentee?

Both the mentee-mentor will discuss where, when and how often you want to meet and your level of involvement with one another.  We strongly suggest that you meet at least three times in the first month and at least twice a month after that.

How long will be the mentor-mentee relationship last?
The commitment is for one academic year or one semester (for short-term exchange students).  Nevertheless, your friendship could be life long!

What if I can not get long well with my mentor-mentee?
We will maintain regular contact with mentors and students in order to foster growth of the mentoring relationship and determine whether the students’ needs are being met.  If inconsistency could not be resolved, we will help you rematch a new relationship upon the mutual agreement of both parties.