There are a variety of opportunities for ISI volunteers to help international students. As one Friendship Partner™ said, “When international students arrive, everything is new. They need someone to prepare them for how things are done, how we think, and the easiest ways to adjust to our culture. They need someone who is truly going to be their friend.”
Another way volunteers can help international students is by tutoring them in English. It needn’t be highly structured lessons. Meeting with the student on a weekly basis for conversation practice can be very helpful to the student and lots of fun for the volunteer. Some students may desire more structured in-depth teaching. Volunteers who are interested in offering this can do so by teaching Intensive English Program (IEP) classes. Students may also need help in their class subjects. Learning a new subject may have its challenges, but imagine learning a new subject in a new language. One-on-one tutoring and proofreading the student’s papers can help an international student keep up with his or her studies.
Volunteers can help in other ways as well.
Volunteers can help in these activities by preparing meals, hosting fellowships, or driving students to activities.
International students aren’t the only ones at the receiving end of this relationship. Friendship Partners™, by their interaction with international students, receive cultural experiences which enrich their lives. Many become lifelong friends with their international students.
We will train you how to befriend international students — how to be a Friendship Partner™ and how to reach international students! For more information on training. If there is no ISI team member near you, contact Volunteer Services at ISI’s Home Office for more information on how to get involved.