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Befriend an international student through ‘First Friends’

by Jul. 12, 2011, 2:56 PM

Photo courtesy of ISSS

Each fall Vanderbilt welcomes students from around the world to our campus and community.

This year, approximately 300 new international students will arrive in Nashville to study at Vanderbilt, many of whom have never been to the United States or may not know anyone here.

It is an exciting and challenging time for them as they settle into their new surroundings and adjust to a new culture. To help these students feel welcome and to ease the transition to American culture, International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS), through the Office of the Dean of Students, offers a way to connect to the community through the First Friends Program.

First Friends facilitates cross-cultural exchange through friendship, connecting Vanderbilt University international students with Americans on and off campus.  International students join First Friends to experience American life and culture. At the same time, they bring unique experiences from their home countries that they are ready and willing to share with new American friends.

If you are interested in participating in First Friends for 2011-12, please visit the ISSS website for an application and additional information. Applications are due by Friday, Aug. 26.

All American partners new to the program are required to participate in a one-hour orientation session. Orientation sessions will be held on Thursday, Sept.1 and Thursday, Sept. 8, 6 p.m-7 p.m. in the Student Life Center. Students meet their First Friends Partners at the Match Day Picnic, which will be held on Sunday, Sept. 11, 3 p.m.-5 p.m. at Fannie Mae Dees (Dragon) Park.

Contact: Heather Young
heather.young@vanderbilt.edu

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