"This program is fantastic! I'm spending New Year's Day with my new family right now! I have learned so much about German culture being with this family and we really enjoy our time together! Today I learned some hilarious jokes about the Mainz/Wiesbaden rivalry and the meaning behind different German city names. What more can I say… I love this program!"
- Howard, USA
Get to know citizens from Mainz, Bingen and surroundings!
What do you expect from your stay in Germany?
- Do you want to get to know Germany and its people?
- Do you want to have fun and find friends?
- Do you want to experience everyday life in German families?
- Do you want to improve your German?
- Do you want to have coffee, go for a walk, do sports, and much more with friends?
- Do you want to talk about your home country and share your experiences?
Then Foreigner become Friends is exactly what you are looking for. With your German Gastfreund you are able to experience all that and much more.
What do I get out of participating in the program "Foreigners Become Friends"?
The program “Foreigners Become Friends” helps you to establish contact with people from Mainz, Bingen and their surroundings. Your Guestfriend or family ("Gastfreund") will show you around the city and can help you with errands, doctors’ appointments or other problems you may have. They invite you into their homes so that you can experience German life and culture firsthand, such as by celebrating Easter or Christmas or by taking part in a hobby together. You can go to the theater or cinema, do sports, take excursions, or cook together. Finally, your German will of course improve every time you practice it with your Gastfreund..
Are there certain program plans?
The program is based on voluntariness. You and your Gastfreund decide on what you want to do. Please be aware of safety and cultural differences of both parties.
Is my Gastfreund paying for our common activities?
No. Your Gastfreund has no finfancial obligation for you. You are financially responsible for your college expenses, lodging and other activities.
Am I allowed to help my Gastfreund at works around the house?
You as a student may not be used for work except you and the Gastfreund have made a written contract.
How can I sign up?
The best and fastest way to register for "Foreigners Become Friends" is the online application. We can also send you an application form.
Will I find the right Gastfreund?
Both Gastfreund and international student are supposed to name preferences. We’re trying our best to consider those and make the perfect match.
How will I meet my Gastfreund?
The initial contact usually takes place via e-mail. After getting the contact dates please send a first e-mail to establish the contact. You will then meet your Gastfreund here in Germany and talk about what to do next. At at the beginning of each semester there is a Get-to-Know-Roundtable where you also have the possibility to meet for the first time.
How often does one meet?
There are no rules. It is left entirely up to the participants when to meet. We experienced that students and partners get together one to three times per month or more – depending on how well they get along with each other, how interested they are in getting together, and how much time they have. It is your decision. But please take appointments serious and if you have to cancel one please let your Gastfreund know ahead of time. Also, please reply to their emails and do not ignore them even if you are very busy.
Are there activities for more than just us two?
Of course! We do have different events each semester. There are "Get-Togethers" every third Wednesday in a month. We also organize different excursions or guided tours. Sometimes a couple of Gastfreunde and students get together for a party, for hiking or something else. Once you have signed up for the program you will receive newsletters with information about all events.
What happens if we don't get along?
Just write an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. The coordinator will help you solve the problem and, if you wish find you a new partner or partner family.
My German is not very good. How will I communicate?
Most Gastfreunde can speak English or other languages. The coordinator always considers the best possible match. And of course you should be able to improve your German language skills.
What else do I need to know?
It is very important for Germans that you actually show up to an appointment you made. If you have a good reason not to come, please tell your Gastfreund ahead of time. Always be on time! In Germany it’s considered to be rude to come half an hour late.
Please answer the mails you get from your Gastfreund. If you don't have time just tell him in a short mail.
"Foreigners Become Friends" is kept alive through your participation. It is not the duty of your Gastfreund to be your personal entertainer. Make propositions of your own, you may invite your Gastfreund to your home or whatever comes to your mind.