For many years Briarwood Church has participated in the UAB International Friendship Partner program, which has proven to be very rewarding for both parties. Briarwood members are recruited to befriend university students from around the world for a 9 month friendship. Students may be here for a semester or several years. Most are here four or five years while they complete their degrees. The students are offered an opportunity to meet American families and singles in American homes or other off-campus settings. The Friendship Partner program is an excellent opportunity for cultural exchange and friendship. Both the students and Briarwood members complete applications, attend orientations, and are matched in late August or early September. The students and Briarwood members then meet on their own once a month as schedules permit, and stay in touch by phone or email. They may share holidays, birthdays, visits to each other’s homes, sports, shopping, hobbies, personal interests, or attend local events and activities. Each partnership is unique, just like the people involved. Expect to grow in both your knowledge of world culture and in your own spiritual awareness. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.