Becoming a Sponsor


Community Sponsor Program

The International Military Student Office coordinates a Community Sponsor Program connecting local sponsors with International Fellows (IFs) at the Joint Forces Staff College.  The sponsor plays a very important role in developing friendships with IFs as well as introducing them to the American way of life.

Sponsors have the opportunity to establish a meaningful relationship with an international officer in such a way that both parties benefit from this unique international interaction. Being a sponsor can be a very rich and rewarding experience and the relationship that you develop with your Fellow can last a lifetime. 

For many students, this will be their first trip to the United States. They are looking for answers to many questions about our country and society.  Sponsors can be very helpful in answering these questions as well as offering advice and assistance on such things as local transportation, recreational facilities, historical points of interest, and shopping.


What does a Sponsor Do?

Typically, sponsors provide logistical and cultural support to their students.  For many officers, it will be their first time visiting the US and they may have questions about anything from traffic laws to the best place to try American foods.  Sponsors show their officers the American way of life and help them participate in community activities.  Some examples of sponsor student activities include:

·         Providing ideas or advice about travel, entertainment, and places of interest. 

·         Advising the officer and family regarding safety, American customs and traditions to include tipping/showing gratitude and use of American slang, idioms, and figures of speech

·         Extending invitations into American homes for traditional American holidays such as Thanksgiving

·         Attending local sporting or cultural events that may be unfamiliar to the IF

·         Dining at an ethnic restaurant to share in the officer's culture, so the culture exchange goes both ways





“Jim and I love being community sponsors.  We have had officers from around the globe. We love sharing our home and community with the young officers and we always learn some-thing new about their countries.  We have made many friends who have kept in touch even years after leaving.”  


Jim & Claire 


My wife and I have been blessed with outstanding foreign students from a variety of countries including Brazil, Chile, South Korea, Japan, Lebanon and others. We keep up with new friends thanks to the magic of Skype!”


Bob Ancell & Christine Miller



“What a wonderful experience to come to know officers from around the globe. Learning about their lives and cultures, and just enjoying their company has been a lot of fun and very enriching for our family. We have come to appreciate our country a lot more by answering their questions about our culture and way of life. Many have become friends for the long haul and stay in touch after they return to their countries.”


Jerry O'Donnell


Apply Now 


Please fill out the application and return it to or mail it to:

Joint Forces Staff College

ATTN: International Military Student Office

7800 Hampton Blvd

Norfolk, VA 23511-1702