Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Mission of Friendship Force International (FFI)?

Friendship Force is a non-profit International organization that promotes global understanding across the barriers that separate people. Our slogan is “Experience Different Views, Discover Common Ground”. We explore countries and cultures through home visits called Journeys. Participants who are traveling are called Ambassadors. Read all about FFI on their website: https://friendshipforce.org/

Do I have to be wealthy to join?
ABSOLUTELY NOT. When Friendship Force members travel to another club, they do so to meet the people and learn, not judge how they live. A Friendship Force Journey will cost you a little less than a package tour to the same location- the difference is that you will go home with so much more.
How do I go about traveling with Friendship Force?

With Friendship Force you have the opportunity to apply to travel on any of our domestic or international Journeys. We typically have one international and/or one or more domestic Journeys assigned to us each year by Friendship Force International, our non-profit parent organization based in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition, you can apply to join any of the Journeys with openings offered by many other FF clubs throughout the world. There are over 360 FF clubs in 60 countries, so there are many opportunities to travel.

How are Journeys organized?

Each year, FF clubs decide what FF clubs they would like to visit to be hosted (Outbound Journeys), and how many FF Clubs they are prepared to host that year for up to seven days each (Inbound Journeys). FF club requests are sent to FF International in Atlanta, who try their best to match the FF clubs.

Do you travel to the Host FF club as a group?
Yes and no. The group usually consists of 10-15 individuals (Ambassadors). Travel arrangements vary with some Ambassadors making their own airline reservations and some people traveling together. We usually meet in the airport or a specific location in the Host city at a definite time. We are often met by our Hosts who transport us to their homes. Some Ambassadors may arrange private travel before or after the exchange.
What is a “Homestay”?

Simple – when you travel with a FF club to another FF club, you stay free of charge as a guest in the home of a FF member in the Host club. You share their life for up to 7 days and probably their friendship for the rest of your life.

What are the costs to participate in an Outbound Journey?

Costs for an Outbound Journey include your airfare and travel costs to get to the Host Club, the Host Club program costs for activities and meals, the Friendship Force International fee ($25 US per night) and personal expenses. Ambassadors are expected to bring their Host(s) a gift and to take them out for dinner one night during the program, to a restaurant chosen by the Host.

What if I’m not a good traveller?

You don’t ever have to travel if you don’t want to. You can still be a member of the Friendship Force. Many members enjoy being hosts, day hosts or dinner hosts. They offer homestays for Inbound Journeys and they meet people from all over the world that way.

Are there any restrictions to joining Friendship Force?
Friendship Force is open to all people interested in exploring cultural diversity and promoting world peace. Our diverse membership includes people from various age groups, backgrounds, and walks of life.
Can anyone be an Ambassador or Host?
Travelling and hosting with Friendship Force provides a unique opportunity to experience a lifestyle different than your own. A Friendship Force member needs to be flexible, have a compassion for people, a positive attitude, a good sense of humour, and an adventurous spirit.

Although Ambassadors must have reasonably good physical stamina, some FF clubs have stricter requirements for Ambassadors they host – for example, being able to walk certain distances, lift your suitcase and/or climb stairs. Applicants are interviewed to ensure they meet these criteria.

How are Host Families Selected for Journeys?

When dates for an Inbound Journey are confirmed, we poll our members to see who is willing and available to host during that time, and what type of accommodation they have (single or couple). Our Host Coordinator then attempts, if possible, to match the interests of Inbound Ambassadors with the FFMV members who are hosting.

Can I participate in Journeys if I’m unable to host?

Absolutely, as there are other ways to contribute to our FFMV club. For example, you can volunteer to be a Day Host, to drive, to host a small dinner party, to be a Journey Coordinator, or to serve on our Leadership Team. We need all members to participate to ensure that our Friendship Force club is successful. If spaces on an Outbound Journey are limited, Ambassadors are selected based on their contributions to our club.

How can I participate in an Inbound Journey if I work all day?
You could provide accommodation on a “bed and breakfast” basis and let another member of our club assist you by day hosting – they look after your Ambassador(s) during the day while you are at work. Alternatively, you could contribute by inviting a couple of Ambassadors to join you for a meal one evening, or just provide some food for the Welcome or Farewell party. There are many ways to be involved in an Inbound Journey.
What kind of cultural activities are involved in Journeys?
Journeys usually include a Welcome and Farewell event as well as a variety of activities that may include tours of the city, visits to museums or local attractions, participation in local events or a country specific cultural activity, and shared meals with a focus on creating personal relationships.
Can non-members participate in Journeys or events?
While some events may be open to non-members, Journeys are generally exclusive to Friendship Force members. Joining our FFMV club allows you to fully engage in the enriching experiences offered by the Friendship Force organization.
Does it matter if I can’t speak a foreign language?
No, not at all. Although most Hosts speak some English, if you can smile and mime, you’re going to do just fine. Remember that everyone in Friendship Force is a member because they WANT to communicate and learn, and they will be trying as hard as you are. Learning just a few words in the Host’s language will guarantee a delighted smile, no matter how badly pronounced.
Isn’t Friendship Force just a travel club?
NO! The whole point of Friendship Force is Friendship- both at home and abroad. Our motto is “Faces, Not Places”, therefore a Journey involves commitment and effort on your part. If you are looking for a cheap holiday, then Friendship Force is NOT for you.
What are Friendship Force members really like?
They are just ordinary people of all ages who like to do something rather special, and have a desire to learn more about other places and make friends there, no matter their religion, colour or background.
How many Friendship Force clubs are there?
At the time of writing, there are over 300 Friendship Force clubs and thousands of members worldwide. Visit Friendship Force International for more information.
How can I become a member of Friendship Force Metro Vancouver?

Visit our “Become a Member” page and fill out and send the membership form. Our Membership Director will contact you to discuss your membership. We look forward to welcoming you!

What does it cost to join FF Metro Vancouver?

The current annual subscription for FFMV is $50 CDN per person.