What is the LINC program?

LINC provides an opportunity for MSU’s International Students to develop personal and meaningful relationships with a LINC Buddy, an American family/individual or student. Each LINC Buddy is responsible for assisting international students become acquainted with American life and provide assistance when needed.

Why should I apply?

Having a LINC Buddy assist with the transition into American life will allow you to learn about the culture in a non-stressful way. It also provides you with an opportunity to share about your native experiences and culture.

Who should apply?

Only new international students who have never lived or studied in the US. Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 International students.

What do students want from the program?

  • Social connections and interaction
  • Opportunities to learn about U.S. culture and customs
  • A sense of support and security
  • Increased confidence in speaking English
  • An advocate - someone looking out for their best interests

What will my LINC Buddy and I do together?

The Holmes Cultural Diversity Center will organize a Kickoff dinner where you can meet your LINC Buddy.

What activities can I do with my international student?

HCDC will sponsor monthly, optional activities. Although these planned events are a great way to bring you and your student together, we also encourage you to allow the Bulldog spirit to move you. Here are a few ideas:

  • Include the student in normal activities
  • Invite him or her to your home for a meal, or prepare a meal together
  • Attend MSU campus events, sporting events, etc.
  • Visit some of Starkville’s great sites (Downtown Starkville, Cotton District Noxubee Refuge, etc.)
  • Provide baked goods or a care package during finals
  • Meet for coffee or tea
  • Celebrate holidays/birthdays/special occasions together
  • Participate in community services projects
  • And much, much more!!!

What is a LINC Buddy NOT for?

While the host family may occasionally offer to take you shopping or out to dinner, your host family is not a taxi service. Please do not expect your host family to regularly provide transportation.

How much time is required?

We ask for a commitment of at least once academic year. The time spent together may vary, depending on time schedules of both. By mutual agreement you may meet on weekends, evenings, and/or holidays. The time commitment doesn’t have to be great, but the reward will be tremendous!

Who are the LINC Buddy volunteers?

Families range from students, single individuals to families with children. They are active members in the community or MSU faculty/staff/students. All families have a common interest in the world and have a willingness to share a bit of their own lives with someone from another part of the world.

Can a LINC Buddy have more than one student?

LINC Buddies can have more than one student. There is a section on the application that will ask how many students the LINC Buddy would like.

What are the financial expectations of a LINC Buddy?

There is no obligation for the LINC Buddy to pay for any expenses; however please be considerate to the students in regards to inviting them to join you in activities that may cost them money.

How are LINC Buddies and students paired?

LINC Buddies and students are paired based on similarities in application preferences.

Do students live with LINC Buddies?

Students do NOT live with LINC Buddies.

What if I don’t have a car?

Most international students will not have a car. LINC Buddies will offer to meet on or close to campus, or when planning off campus activities will provide transportation.

What if my match doesn’t work?

If the match does not work due to schedule conflicts or mis-matched personalities, the LINC Buddy or student may contact the Holmes Cultural Diversity Center and we will change the pairing.

How do I apply?

International Student (Mentee) Application

Student Mentor Application

Family/Mentor Application