Luther College Seeks Friendship Families

The International Student Friendship Family Program is seeking individuals or families in the Decorah community to help Luther College's incoming international students adjust to life at Luther College and in the United States. 

The goal of the program is to promote international understanding and develop an appreciation of how others live and view the world. Students and their friendship families will gather in informal settings and learn about life in the U.S. and Iowa, and about the home culture of the student.

Friendship families are matched among a pool of new students who have requested to join the program. This fall Luther expects to receive about 40 new international students from more than 30 countries.

Gail Judisch and her husband, David, of Decorah, have been involved with the program for many years. Judisch says the students become "like family" to her, and they keep in contact for years after the students graduate from Luther. She said that simple tasks such as taking the students to the grocery store can be a big help to them. "We love learning about our student's family and culture and often have the opportunity to get to know their friends as well, which is a huge bonus!" she said.

Sign up online at or call Luther's Diversity Center for more information at (563) 387-1014.