Get to know an American family or friend through a Welcome Lunch! It can lead to an ongoing relationship, a home away from home, a meaningful connection while you're here and, in fact, a new way to enrich your education. Don't miss this rare opportunity that might not come up again. Be sure to watch the video above.

Welcome Lunches usually take place one of the second, third and fourth Sundays in September though other arrangements are occasionally made. How it works is that we pick you up at USC at 10 a.m. or at 4 p.m. on one of those Sundays in September (based on your availability) and drive to Whittier where you will meet your American family or friend and join them for the upbeat, rock-style music and message at church (A taste of American culture!). After that, you and they will have lunch (or supper) together, either in their home or in a restaurant. When you are finished, they will take you back to USC probably around 4 p.m. (morning) or 9 p.m. (evening).

We also ask that you and your American family or friend plan to keep in touch for the academic year. In addition to e-mail and phone contact, we ask that you get together at least once or twice during this semester (including winter break). Of course, our hope is that your friendship will also continue in the future as many have.

We encourage you to take advantage of this unique opportunity! Remember though that it is a commitment. Once you sign up, we work hard to find an American family or friend for you. Then the American family or friend takes the time and effort to make special arrangements for you and is looking forward to meeting and getting to know you. Finally, we make a special trip to USC to pick you up. If you don’t show up for your appointment or you cancel at the last minute, it’s not only frustrating for us, but it means that your family or friend will have no one to host. Think about how your own family in your home country would feel if a guest they had invited didn’t show up. On the other hand, think of the joy your family would have in getting to know a new friend.

We do understand, though, that things come up that are not under your control. If you sign up and then find you can’t come, we need to know as soon as you know so that we can try to reschedule another student for the family. All changes need to be made by Friday before the Sunday of the event, but early in the week is much better so that we will have a better chance of finding another student for your family.

If you have read the above and would like to take advantage of this unique opportunity, go to Join, sign up, and check the box, “Get to know an American family or friend.”