Tiger Family

International Tiger Family Program

The International Tiger Family Program is comprised of two programs: The International Sibling and the Friendship Family Program.

The International Sibling Program is open to enrolled students with the concept that students from different countries or cultural backgrounds are paired up as "siblings" with a US student to foster a sense of familial connection and support.

This initiative aims to promote cultural exchange and understanding among students at the UofM. The international sibling program participants may engage in activities and share aspects of their respective cultures.  The goal is to create a bond beyond a traditional friendship, allowing participants to experience a familial connection with someone from a different cultural or national background.

The Friendship Family Program is open to University of Memphis staff and faculty to promote a supportive and inclusive environment by connecting with students through mentorship and social events. Through a matching system, incoming students are paired with mentors or "family leaders" who provide guidance and assistance, while social activities and workshops promote friendship-building, cultural exchange, and personal development. The program aims to enhance the student experience, promote academic success, and nurture long-lasting relationships among students and the university community.

These programs are designed to facilitate meaningful relationships and promote a sense of global unity and interconnectedness.


  • Eligibility
    Participants must be enrolled as full-time students at U of M and in good standing.



  • Application Process
    Participants must complete an application form, which could include information about their academic background, interests, and reasons for wanting to participate.



  • Selection Criteria
    The CIES will consider factors such as academic performance, and compatibility between participants when selecting them for the program.



  • Expectations and Responsibilities
    Participants may be expected to adhere to certain expectations and responsibilities, such as attending program events, actively participating in activities, and respecting each other's differences.



  • Cultural Exchange
    One of the primary benefits is the opportunity for cultural exchange learn about each other's cultures, traditions, languages, and customs, fostering greater understanding and appreciation for diversity.



  • Language Practice
    Students have the chance to practice the languages they are learning or improve their language skills by communicating with their international siblings in their native languages.



  • Friendship and Support
    International siblings can offer each other support, guidance, and friendship, especially in a new and unfamiliar environment. They can help each other navigate academic, social, and personal challenges.



  • Networking Opportunities
    Building relationships with students from around the world can expand one's professional network globally, which can be beneficial for future career opportunities, especially in fields that require international collaboration or global mobility.



  • Enhanced Global Awareness
    Engaging in activities and projects together can enhance students' global competency skills, including intercultural communication, adaptability, and empathy, which employers highly value in today's globalized workforce.



  • Cultural Events and Activities
    The International Tiger Family program often organizes cultural events, workshops, and activities that expose participants to various cultural practices, foods, and traditions, enriching their university experience.



  • Personal Growth
    Being part of an International Tiger Family program can lead to personal growth and development as students navigate cultural differences, broaden their perspectives, and learn to appreciate the richness of diversity.


  • Domestic participants must be current full-time undergraduate or graduate students at the University of Memphis.
  • Domestic students should promptly respond to emails and phone messages to maintain effective communication.
  • Students are required to respect the International sibling’s beliefs, especially regarding religion, fostering an inclusive and respectful environment.
  • Domestic students are encouraged to openly share their own culture, promoting understanding and awareness.
  • Domestic students play a crucial role in building friendships with their international siblings. Offering encouragement, going out for meals, and providing emotional support can help ease the transition for international students.
  • Students should share essential information about U of M, helping their international siblings adjust to life in the United States.
  • Domestic students should be culturally sensitive and aware, understanding that their international siblings may have customs and values different from those in the U.S. Building awareness and fostering understanding of these differences is an important aspect of the role.
  • Domestic students are encouraged to connect with their international siblings on social media platforms for regular communication.
  • Domestic students, may plan in-person activities like watching movies, going out to eat, or exploring the local area together.
  • International participants interested in becoming international siblings need to be currently enrolled as full-time undergraduate or graduate students at the U of M.
  • International siblings should commit to actively participating in the program for the specified duration. This may include attending events, engaging in regular communication with their domestic siblings, and fulfilling any other program-related responsibilities.
  • The primary purpose of the program is to foster connections and friendships between international and U.S. students. Therefore, participants should demonstrate a genuine interest in building relationships with their U.S. siblings.
  • International siblings are expected to be culturally sensitive, open-minded, and willing to share and learn about different cultures. This includes respecting and appreciating cultural differences.
  • Since one of the goals of the program is cultural exchange, applicants should be open to sharing aspects of their own culture with their U.S. siblings.
  • International siblings should be available to participate in program events, both virtually and in person, as outlined by the program coordinators.

How to Join? Apply Now

Participation in International Tiger Family Program is voluntary and it is free to join.

International student, domestic student and friendship family applications for Fall 2024 are now open. 

International Tiger Family Program - International Student

International Tiger Family Program - Domestic Student

International Tiger Family Program - Faculty and Staff