Be a ‘First Friend’ and explore the cultures of the world

International students at Vanderbilt are in need of friendship and support when they arrive. Help make their transition smooth by participating in First Friends through ISSS. (photo provided by ISSS)

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

This year, 360 international students from 55 countries, Armenia to Zambia, will arrive in Nashville to study at Vanderbilt. Many of these students 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 offers a way to connect to the Vanderbilt and Nashville community through the First Friends Program.

First Friends is Vanderbilt’s international friendship program, connecting international students with Americans on and off campus for friendship and cross-cultural exchange. International students join First Friends to experience American life and culture. At the same time, international students bring unique experiences from their home countries that they are excited to share with new American friends.

Vanderbilt faculty and staff are invited to be a First Friend to new Vanderbilt International Students. Information and application forms available at the First Friends website.

Applications are due by Thursday, Sept. 5, to ISSS, Student Life Center, 310 25th Ave. S., Suite 103 or fax 615-343-7799.

The First Friends program is coordinated by International Student and Scholar Services, an Office of the Dean of Students.

Contact: Radhika Reddy,