At first it may seem overwhelming trying to figure things out here at UVA and even finding people who understand what it’s like to be in a strange, new place that doesn’t make sense. Your friends at ISI know what it’s like and we’re here to help YOU! We have many ways to help you connect with other like minded people who want to help you and become your friend, too. Here are just a few suggestions:
· International Friendship Nights (IFN). – At least once a month, ISI hosts a real, home cooked American meal in a real American home. Besides a meal, we have games, informational talks, and “How-To” lessons on everything from American cuisine, to American slang to conversational English.
· Special Events – Throughout the year we host a wide array of fun activities that help you connect with other international students and get you off grounds for a change of pace and a change of scenery. They include things like a trip to Washington D.C., hikes in the Blue Ridge Mountains, horse back riding, ice skating, a picnic in the country, and white water rafting.
· Small Group Activities – Through ISI you can meet regularly with other students and volunteers for activities like Bible studies and discussion groups to exchange ideas and discuss your culture.
· Friendship – we often match new international students with an American family or Friendship Partner, who will meet with you regularly throughout the year. These volunteers help answer questions about American life, and share meals, family holidays, religious life and other activities with you. It can make a world of difference to have a contact who can help you feel more at home here in Charlottesville.
· Special Helps – sometimes students need special help such as a ride to the airport, moving to a new apartment, acquiring some furniture, negotiating difficulties in the American system. ISI will make an effort to assist students with these types of needs through the resources of our volunteers.