Friends for Dinner is a fun and unique opportunity for international students who cannot be with family to enjoy a December holiday meal with members of the university and local community. This multi-cultural interfaith experience allows international students an opportunity to share culture and companionship during the holiday season.

International students

If you are a registered international student unable to be with family over the holiday, you are encouraged to register. Please note that we will do our best to accommodate all requests but will work on a first-come-first-serve basis as the number of host may be limited. Once matched with a host family, you will decide together on a suitable holiday season date and time.

Students may sign up together with a friend. Each student should register separately.

The deadline to register as a student is Friday, Dec. 2, 2022.

Host families

Friends for Dinner is looking for host families. You will be matched with students and together choose a suitable date (within the holiday season) to have dinner together.

The deadline to register as a host family is Friday, Dec. 2, 2022.

Matching process

Registered students and hosts will be contacted before Friday, December 9. Hosts and students will be matched based on the dates they select for availability. The suggested dates to share a holiday meal are between December 22 to December 27 to help facilitate matching. Meet ups are permitted outside those dates if all parties agree.

Suggestions and guidelines for hosting

  • You can invite the students for a lunch or a dinner meal. Visits can be anywhere from a few hours to a full day.
  • Visits will take place between December 22 to December 27. Please let us know what dates work best for you, and we will match the students accordingly.
  • Many international students do not have cars and bus schedules are limited during the holidays. If possible, please arrange transportation.
  • We will match your family with students based on their location and special dietary/allergy requirements. The students and host family will be contacted by Friday, December 9 with each other's contact information. Please note that only hosts with two or more members will be accepted. You will be assigned a minimum of 2 students.

Past participant comments

"Thank you for such an awesome program! We enjoyed a lot and amazed by our host's hospitality. I think matching guests from different countries is more enjoyable than matching guests from same country since it is a kind of international event!"
- a student

"It was one of my best experiences here in Canada."
- a student

"This is a wonderful program. We thoroughly enjoyed our students. We have become friends and continue to keep in touch. I sincerely hope this program continues and also expands to include even more faculty, staff and students. It means so much to these young people to have connections here and to not only show them Canadian hospitality, but also for them to have someone here they can ask questions to and talk to. Well done!"
- a host familiy

"Our family had a wonderful time getting to know our Iranian guests, and they seemed to enjoy themselves, too. We are hoping to get together in the near future, too"
- a host family


Friends for Dinner is organized by the following units. Please contact any of them for more information.