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University of Iowa News Release


August 21, 2007

Photos: FIS participants enjoy cake and conversation at International Student Day, which was celebrated in the Iowa City area last Sept. 13. (Below) FIS members participated in the 2006 University of Iowa Homecoming Parade Oct. 7.

Friends Of International Students Will Host Annual Picnic Aug. 25

Friends of International Students (FIS) will host its annual fall picnic potluck from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, in Shelter No. 6 of Iowa City's City Park.

FIS is a nonprofit organization affiliated with the University of Iowa Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS). The organization works to foster friendships between international students and American friends as well as promote greater understanding across the world.

No registration is required to attend the picnic. All international students and any individuals hoping to befriend international students are welcome to attend. Friends who are already matched with a student are invited to attend with their student and bring food to share. Any person interested in becoming a friend is asked to fill out an application at the picnic. Students are not required to bring food, and FIS will provide free lemonade, water and table service.

Run by community volunteers, FIS has been a part of the Iowa City community for 36 years. The main goal of FIS is to give international students and their American friends an opportunity to gain new perspectives on the world through an exchange of ideas.

"It is great to see how much our community supports incoming international students," said Pennie Kincade, FIS board member and picnic organizer. "We had several local businesses donate food for the FIS picnic, and Iowa State Bank & Trust Company is sponsoring the event."

This year, in addition to the potluck, there will be live entertainment, Kincade said. A local duo, The Acousterrifics, will perform popular hits at the event.

In the past 36 years FIS has worked to form bonds between American individuals or families and individuals or families from many different cultures. Last fall the organization made about 80 matches between international students and friends. Once matched, volunteers and students can choose how they would like to spend their meetings, which can be once a week or only once a month, depending on each person's schedule.

For more information about the picnic, call Kincade at 319-356-5912 or visit the FIS Web site at:

OISS is a part of University of Iowa International Programs, which enables UI students, faculty, staff and the public to learn from and about the world. Its offices, degree programs and events provide life-changing opportunities on campus and abroad, heighten intellectual and cultural diversity and give all university constituents access to vital international knowledge. For more information, visit or call 319-353-2700. International Programs is part of the UI Office of the Provost.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

CONTACTS: Kelli Andresen, International Programs communications coordinator, 319-335-2026,; Scott King, director of the UI Office of International Students and Scholars, 319-335-0335, or Pennie Kincade, FIS, at 319-356-5912.