Get Involved with International Students

It takes a village – or, in this case, an entire faculty and staff – to foster a global campus, and one of the best ways that we can all contribute is by getting involved in programming that serves international students. There are many ways in which to engage with international students, whether in targeted programs or programs open to all students. The following opportunities allow interested faculty and staff to focus on working with international students.

International Friendship Family Program
The International Friendship Family Program serves students for whom St. Peter is very different from the cultural environment of their hometown or home location. The program mainly serves international students, though a few U.S. multilingual students (some of whom have international backgrounds) also seek a friendship family. The program matches individual students with families who are interested in serving as a friendly local contact for the student. "Family" here means any household that is interested in serving as a host family; no particular family composition is required, and individuals living alone are welcome to serve as friendship families. Relationships between friendship families and students vary widely, with some involving as few as two or three informal meetings per year (e.g., for coffee, or perhaps lunch), while other families might invite students to join the family for festivities and stay over in a guest room during a holiday weekend or even to accompany the family on a lake cabin weekend. The particular activities chosen depend on student and family preferences. If you are interested in serving as a friendship family, please contact Carly Overfelt for details.

Global Mentors, Friends, and Faculty (GMFF)
The GMFF program consists of a group of Gustavus faculty and staff members who serve as targeted mentors for international students. GMFF members do not replace academic advisors or international advisors at CICE; rather, they are willing to serve as extra advisors, mentors, and advocates for any international student needing assistance navigating the challenging situation of succeeding in an international academic and student-life setting. We identify members in international student materials as those who are willing to see any international student in appointments and/or office hours. GMFF members also participate whenever possible in social events that are designed to ensure a welcoming environment for international students, including special, small-group lunches and dinners (including a mix of international and U.S. students with GMFF members) arranged throughout the academic year. Members agree to attend an annual meeting focsued on best practices in serving international students. If you would like to join the GMFF group, please contact the CICE Director for details.