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 international university students and scholars for a 9 month friendship. Students may be here for a semester or several years. Most are here two to 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 international students and Briarwood members complete applications, attend orientations, and are matched in September. The students and Briarwood members meet initially at the international student BBQ at UAB, and then on their own once a month as schedules permit. Partners also stay in touch by phone, text 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 through time with your Friendship Partner. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.