The Friend Family Project
The Friend family project has been closed down as of June 2018 and is subsequently not offered fall 2018.
The friend family project has been a much appreciated project, financed by Växjö municipality for many years. During spring, the Student Union Linnéstudenterna, Växjö municipality and Linnaeus University have reviewed and discussed the project. Together we have made the decision not to continue with the Friend Family project.
Instead, we now see opportunities to work together to reach the concerned target group by focusing more on the existing projects and strategies found today at Linnaeus University and with Linnéstudenterna, in collaboration with Växjö and Kalmar municipalities. This will give us many opportunities to work together to integrate international as well as Swedish students in the surrounding society within the Linnaeus region.
Thank you all from The Coordinator of the Friend Family project
A successful and much loved project which has involved and touched 1700 international students and 600 local families since it started in 2006 is coming to an end.
The Student Union Linnéstudenterna cannot host the project without external funding. The definite decision came late this semester and was preceded by negotiations between the Student Union Linnéstudenterna and on the one hand the municipality of Växjö, who have been sole external financing part for the past few years, and on the other hand Linnaeus University. The negotiating partners have unanimously decided not to continue with the Friend Family project after this spring semester.
This project has been about feelings and relationships, friendships and love. The projects value cannot be measured in the amount of money it yielded, but in personal contacts, cultural exchange, the sensation of security and warmth in a lovely movement.
“What I love most about the Friend Family project is that we are all new to each other” a Friend Family mother told me recently and I realized she absolutely nailed it. Regardless of age, civic or physical status or professional background the Friend Family project welcomed you to get to know the world through its international students without even having to leave Växjö!
Oh yes, initially the sad decision to close down the Friend Family project filled me with regret and disappointment. However, all the gratitude which has literally poured towards me for the last weeks and as I understand it towards the positive power that we all have inside and which the project helped us discover-the importance of saying “welcome” and being curious about each other- that gratitude is the lovely lesson I learned and I hope that goes for everyone reading this text today!
Thank you all for all the happy moments and meetings, all the laughter and fun we had together. This decade has taught us Friend Families and students a lot about ourselves, our cultures, about the situation of international students, about our “home town” of Växjö but above anything else about humanity and that the choice is inside ourselves.
Opening up to others can be addictive. Do go on being an addict, I sure will! See you out there!
Friend Family Coordinator 2008—2018