CONTACT: LOIS GRAY
Iowa City IA 52242
Release: Aug. 13, 2001
NOTE TO EDITOR'S AND PHOTOGRAPHERS: The Aug. 25 picnic provides photo opportunities
for print and TV since there is usually a good turnout. A personal feature
illustrating a match can also be arranged. If you wish to interview a current
match, please call Lois Gray at (319) 335-2026.
Community invited to Friends of International Students picnic Aug. 25
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Members of the community have an opportunity to develop
friendships with students from all around the world, without even spending
money for a plane ticket.
More participants are needed for the Friends of International Students (FIS)
program, which matches local residents with international students at the
University of Iowa. Community members can learn more about FIS at a picnic
from 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25 in Lower City Park at Shelter 6, rain or
Unmatched students, as well as international students and Friends who are
already matched, will attend the picnic. Anyone interested in helping an international
student feel welcome is invited to attend. Those attending are asked to bring
food to share.
"The need for friends is especially great this time of year as many
new international students arrive on the campus," said Ethel Bontrager
outgoing FIS president.
An estimated 375 new international students are arriving on the UI campus
this fall, bringing total international student enrollment to nearly 1,800.
Many of these new students wish to meet Americans who will help welcome them
to the local community and show them the ropes in their new home in Iowa.
New students are coming from all over the world, including China, Korea, Taiwan,
India, Japan, Malaysia, Romania, and Pakistan, among other countries.
FIS is a non-profit organization of people in the local community who are
interested in meeting and helping international students from the UI. FIS
is affiliated with the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS)
at the UI and is run by community volunteers.
Volunteer community Friends are matched with international students and spend
time together doing fun activities that are an everyday part of life such
as having dinner together, going on a picnic, going to a movie or just getting
together and chatting. Bontrager says that currently more than 150 Friends
and an estimated 250 international students are involved with FIS.
Families as well as single people may volunteer for the program. FIS volunteers
represent all age groups, from students to senior citizens. FIS is a flexible
program. There are no set activities or time commitments. Although the program
encourages people to meet at least once a month, others meet more often.
For more information about the picnic or to get involved with the program,
call (319) 335-0343 or e-mail email@example.com
OISS provides information, services, and programs that help international
students and scholars benefit from their stays in Iowa. The office also seeks
to foster constructive relationships among international and other members
of the university community. Student advisors provide orientation for international
students and scholars, personal counseling and advising, immigration advising,
financial counseling, conflict resolution and crisis intervention. They also
serve as liaisons with the Friends of International Students and the International
Women's Club. For more information, call 335-0335, or visit the office in
120 International Center.
OISS is part of UI International Programs, which consists of a number of
offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and
services. Organized under the Associate Provost and Dean for International
Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community
and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.
OISS is located in the International Center on the UI campus. The International
Center is located at the end of Ferson Avenue in Iowa City, off Park Road.