WRITER: PANKHURY BATRA
CONTACT: LOIS GRAY
Iowa City IA 52242
Release: Aug. 14, 2002
(NOTE TO EDITORS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS: The Aug. 24 picnic provides photo opportunities
for print and TV. 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.)
(Photo: International students meet an Iowa City woman at last year's FIS
Community invited to Friends of International Students picnic Aug. 24
of International Students (FIS) will hold its annual picnic to welcome this
year's incoming international students Saturday, Aug. 24 from 4 to 6:30 p.m.
in Lower City Park at Shelter 12, rain or shine.
FIS matches members of the community with international students at the
University of Iowa to create opportunities for sharing cultural information
and to foster international friendships between local resident and international
students. Currently, more than 150 Friends and an estimated 250 international
students are involved with FIS. Anyone interested in helping an international
student feel welcome is invited to attend the picnic. Those attending are
asked to bring food to share.
Unmatched students, as well as international students and Friends who are
already matched, will attend the picnic. Fall is the time of year when there
is the greatest need for new community members to get involved because of
the influx of new international students to campus. All of the estimated 400
new international students arriving on the UI campus this fall will be invited
to the picnic during their orientation sessions. The UI expects nearly 1,900
international students to enroll this year, representing more than 100 different
countries around the globe.
Many of these 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 Brazil, China,
Croatia, India, Italy, Korea, Malaysia, Nigeria, Taiwan, and Turkey, among
FIS is a non-profit organization made up of people in the local community
who are interested in meeting and helping international students from the
UI. FIS is affiliated with the UI Office of International Students and Scholars
(OISS) and is operated by community volunteers.
FIS matches volunteer community Friends with international students so they
can spend time in fun, everyday life activities such as eating dinner at a
restaurant -- or cooking a meal together -- going on a picnic, seeing a movie,
or whatever activities they mutually enjoy. 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 with 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 Helen Jameson, FIS liaison, at (319) 335-3584 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
OISS provides information, services, and programs that help international
students and scholars benefit from their stays in Iowa and 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, non-immigration visa regulations
advising, financial counseling, and conflict resolution. 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.