INDIA: +91 080 41234927 | WHATSAPP: +91 6366 834954
INDIA: +91 080 41234927 | WHATSAPP: +91 6366 834954

Friends of International Students

The University of Iowa’s International Students and Scholar Services (ISSS) runs a non-profit organization known as the “Friends of International Students” (FIS) comprised of Iowa City residents interested in meeting and helping international students at the University of Iowa. This is how it works: During the orientation week, international students are asked to fill out an application by FIS. FIS then matches every student with an American family or individual. Once a friend and a student are matched, they can plan their activities together and spend time knowing each other.
I filled out an FIS application during the orientation week. After a week or two, I heard from a local family through email. We introduced ourselves and exchanged numbers. The family consisted of a husband and wife, and their three daughters. For the first time that we met, we decided to go to their eldest daughter’s high school parade. I’d never seen an American high school parade before this so it was a fun experience for me to watch the neighborhood high schools represent themselves at the parade. Every high school had a performing band, a group of cheerleaders, teachers and alumni driving vintage cars, and current students holding their school flags and throwing candies at the crowd! The second time we decided to meet over a barbecue by the reservoir where I was introduced to the family’s friends and relatives. Gradually, we met often over weekends and major holidays and over the time, I became great friends with this wonderful family.
With Sara
Withe Sara's eldest daughter, Rosie
The munchkins..
At the barbecue with the family
It’s been over six months since I met the family first and we still meet up as much. I believe FIS has been a very good cross-cultural experience for international students like me. It’s been a very good way of getting involved in the community, meeting new people, getting a chance to learn about the American culture and lifestyle, and creating the feeling of “a home away from home.”
With the family, on Christmas (PS: Apologize for the haziness)

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