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Pictured here are Western Illinois University international students at the Fall 2014 International Student Orientation. Each semester, WIU's Center for International Studies (CIS) hosts approximately 400 international students at WIU, and one of the opportunities available to the newly arrived students is the "International Neighbors Program," which pairs students with local families and/or individuals. A kickoff potluck for the International Neighbors Program is slated to start at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27 in the WIU Multicultural Center.
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International Neighbors Program Helps International Students at WIU Adjust

September 4, 2014


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MACOMB, IL — Each semester, Western Illinois University's Center for International Studies (CIS) hosts approximately 400 international students at WIU. According to CIS Assistant Director of Orientation and Student Activities Dana Vizdal, one of the opportunities available to the newly arrived students is the "International Neighbors Program," which pairs students with local families and/or individuals.

Vizdal said a kickoff potluck, to introduce the families and students, for the International Neighbors Program is slated to start at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27 in the WIU Multicultural Center.

"Over the past seven years, hundreds of new students have participated in this program," Vizdal said. "Neighbors are paired based on hobbies and interests and are encouraged to meet at least once a month or up to three times a semester. Not only does the program help the international students adjust to life in Macomb and the United States, but the program also facilitates their understanding of American culture and families. The neighbors learn about each others' cultures and oftentimes become life-long friends."

Vizdal added that activities program participants have engaged in in the past include: home visits, meals, shopping trips, holiday celebrations, bowling and watching movies.

For more information about hosting a student, contact the Center for International Studies at CIS-Activities@wiu.edu.

Posted By: WIU News (U-Relations@wiu.edu)
Office of University Relations