Encouraging cross-cultural understanding

Pair-up program logo

What is the Pair-Up Program?

It is a multicultural friendship program that encourages international and domestic student cultural exchange at UMass Lowell. Founded in 2015 and housed in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Pair-Up Program hopes to bridge that cultural gap between international and domestic students through mutual interests and understanding. Hear from past participants!

How does it work?

The Pair-Up Program is a full academic year program that pairs or groups its participants by common interests and majors indicated in their applications. The groups consist of one American student and two or three international students. Once the pairs have been put together, we connect the (current) American student with the (new) international students while the international students are still in their home countries preparing to arrive to the U.S. in early August. This way, the buddies can start communicating before the semester begins and get to know each other before our first meeting.

As of Fall 2021, we are launching a new cohort model! Pair-Up Year One participants will focus on cultural differences, norms, holidays, and more. Pair-Up Year Two participants will focus on intercultural communication, cultural identities, allyship and more. Year Two participants must have completed year one to sign up for year two. Apply below!

Fall 2021 Requirements:

  • Virtual monthly meetings on first Friday of September, October, and November from 4-5:30 p.m.
  • In-person (optional) meetings on third Friday of September, October and November from 4-6 p.m.
  • Meet virtually or in person on your own if guidelines allow once a month to get coffee, go for a walk, etc. with your buddies
Pair-Up Program Meet & Greet

Why should I apply?

This program allows for new friendships while expanding cultural horizons, increasing cultural understanding, minimizing biases, and engaging people from all walks of life. Participants meet people in different cultures and make worldwide friendships. This program also serves unique resume builder that highlights the ability to work with people from different cultures and showcases global citizenship. While in this program, participants will also get early admission to other programs on campus such as the OMA Ambassador Program and the Diversity Peer Educator Program.

How do I apply?

Apply online for the Pair Up Program 2021-2022 year. If you are wait-listed, you can apply for the 2022-2023 academic year beginning next June.

This program is primarily for new international students arriving in the fall semesters and it fills quickly! We also accept international exchange students for the fall semester only which opens up spots for new international students arriving in the spring semester.

Please e-mail: Allyson_lynch@uml.edu with any questions.