Internet Resources for Community Programming

June 15, 2009 By: Jane Dunham

Find resources to help carry out community program. See what other institutions and community groups do.

Community Programs

Athens Friends of International Students - Ohio University
Volunteer activities promoting friendship between internationals at Ohio University and people in the Athens community.

Bechtel International Center - Stanford University
Provides various community programs for students, spouses, and children.

Boulder Friends of International Students (BFIS) - University of Colorado-Boulder
Friendship program for students

Community Volunteers for International Programs (CVIP) - Michigan State University
Associated with Michigan State University's Office of International Education Exchange, CVIP has a great variety of community programs for international students and their families.

Crossroads International - Oregon State University
Crossroads is a community volunteer organization that provides friendship, hospitality, and language assistance for OSU's international students and visiting scholars. 

Fort Collins International Center (FCIC) - Colorado State University
This is a good example of multiple activities and cooperation among university housing, the international office, and the community.

Foundation for International Understanding through Students (FIUTS) - University of Washington
Community programming association serving the University of Washington. FIUTS provides opportunities for cross-cultural friendship through host families, education outreach, Wednesday lunches, trips and tours and more.

Global Ambassadors - University of Denver
An organization that helps create partnerships between international student/scholars/spouses at the University of Denver and Denver community members and organizations.

Hosts to International Students Program - MIT
A friendship family program run by the International Students Office at MIT.

International Center - University of California, San Diego
Offers many opportunities for international friendship and understanding, including a Resale Shop, coffee mornings, and ethnic lunches.

International Center - Florida State University
FSU's programs for international students include: Global Cafe, English Conversation Club, Global Ambassadors, International Bazaar, International Friends Program, and International Women's Group.

International Cultural Team - University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
In addition to a Friendship Program , the university has an International Culture Team, made up of students from over 40 countries, who provide cultural lectures and performances to the community. Their Cultural Learning Library is a collection of portable bins representing 25 countries or world regions, containing videos, software, texts, photographs, crafts, and other items representative of that country or region, for loan to the community.

International Friends, Inc. - University of Arizona
A non-profit, community-based program that brings together residents of the Tucson, Arizona, community and international students attending the University of Arizona, for the purposes of friendship, learning and sharing.

The International Friendship Program - Dartmouth College
Sponsored by the International Office at Dartmouth new international undergraduate and graduate students have the opportunity to become acquainted with U.S. families in the Upper Valley.

International Friends Program - Northern Arizona University
This program introduces international students to a family or single individual who will get together with them on a regular basis They are interested in learning about different countries and cultures. While, in turn, the students gain an understanding of family life in the United States.

Lincoln Friends of Foreign Students (LFFS) - University of Nebraska, Lincoln
LFFS seeks to promote friendship and understanding between people of differing nationalities by pairing interested Lincoln area families and individuals with international students enrolled at the university.

International Hospitality Council of Austin (IHCA)
IHCA works with the U.S. Department of State and program agencies in Washington, D.C. to create professional and personal opportunities for international leaders and opinion makers to meet and exchange ideas with U.S. citizens.

International Hospitality Foundation
The International Hospitality Foundation (IHF) links the Baton Rouge community and Louisiana State University international students in friendship and intercultural exchange. Founded in 1960 as a non-profit organization, IHF has fostered global understanding for more than 50 years through its programs. 

Missoula International Friendship Program (MIFP) - University of Montana
Volunteers in MIFP match interested foreign students with area single people or families who provide occasional hospitality and an introduction to life in the United States.

Metro International
Metro serves scholars and international students from more than 100 countries on college and university campuses in the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. It designs programs which introduce visiting students and scholars to New Yorkers and to the city's diverse cultural, political and social institutions.

Rutgers University
Rutgers has a friendship program, English Conversation Partners, a community resource list online, and an international women's program.

University of Texas-Austin
The Family and Community Programs office, run by volunteers with university support, provides a friendship family program for all students and many services for international family members. Programs include a weekly coffee morning, a volunteer placement program, and an active listserv. The Info Guide contains practical information on settling in.

International Houses

International House - New York City
International House is a dynamic program center and residence in New York City for more than 700 graduate students and interns from over 100 countries, including one-third from the United States. Selected residents are offered a wide variety of intellectual, cultural and social activities designed to promote leadership, understanding, respect and friendship across cultures.

Duke University
Includes a holiday hospitality program, a spouses group, a speaker's bureau. an international friendship program and several other programs.

University of Maryland
Each year Dorchester Hall is home to over 166 undergraduates who share a common desire to build bridges of cooperation and understanding between their cultures.

San Jose State University, California
The I-House is a co-ed residence for 70 American and international students attending San Jose State University. Student council members plan activities such as trips, regional dinners,, and coffee. Wearing traditional dress from around the world, residents take part in a Pancake Breakfast. Staff coordinate multicultural simulations, barbecues, potluck dinners, and offer international career guidance.

University of Chicago
Accommodates over 300 graduate and advanced undergraduate (third and fourth year students) residents - about half from countries other than the United States. Provides programming such as music and cultural performances, trips, language discussions and forums and debates led by distinguished guest speakers.

University of California, Berkeley
A large facility, accommodating 300 internationals and 300 Americans, with a variety of ongoing programs, including fitness classes, social dances, globalization series, coffee hours, Sunday movies, and an international friendship program.

International House - Philadelphia
Residents are American and International students, scholars, or professional trainees at over 30 Philadelphia colleges and universities. A variety of cultural programs and special events.

International Center - Indianapolis (ICI)
(ICI) offers programs and services that help make central Indiana a welcoming place for all international citizens. Educational programs, opportunities for interaction with distinguished international visitors and interns, offer Indiana citizens a "window to the world".

University of Montana
International House is a center for intercultural activities and programs. Foreign students, scholars, campus, and community groups can reserve the facility free of charge. The house also maintains regular open hours when people can drop by to watch TV or videos, do laundry, cook, play games, or relax with friends.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

I-House has an International Seminar Room for discussion groups, meetings and ESL classes; an International Resource Room with cross-cultural material, ESL materials, travel information, etc.; and a lounge where students and visitors can relax and enjoy a cup of coffee.

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Offers activities such as language tables, dance lessons, English classes, art tables, and culture nights. Contains a computer lab, game room, and a library. "International House is a place of learning, a second home, a multicultural place. Any time of the day, we have hot coffee or tea for you."

Rochester Institute of Technology
One of seven special interest houses at RIT, International Houses features a special dinner every quarter in the house kitchen.

International Student House of Washington, D.C.
A community of about 320 graduate students, scholars, interns, and researchers from a variety of institutions in the D.C. area.

Indiana University-Purdue University
Activities include regular coffee hours, dedicated to the culinary treats of particular countries.

University of British Columbia
The International House provides social and cultural space to the International Community.

Holiday Hospitality Programs

Christmas International House
Christmas International House has been offering community hospitality to international college students since 1965. Students choose the communities they would like to visit, send in the registration form, provide their own transportation to the host community, and then are given full hospitality, sightseeing and social activities for two weeks by their hosts. Most of the hosting groups are Presbyterian or other reformed churches. A great way to see another part of the United States over the holidays.

International Friendship Ministries (IFM)
IFM, a non-profit Christian organization, offers tours and holiday hospitality programs to international students, scholars, and families of all nationalities and religious backgrounds.

Florida Christmas Conference, InterFACE Ministries
For international students and scholars homestay with a Christian family, conference activities, visits to interesting sites such as Disney World, Epcot, and Universal Studios.

Homestay Programs

Abode Homestay
Live-in families for international students in the Seattle area.

Homestay Houston
Live-in families for international students in the Houston area.

Homestay Norman
Live-in families for international students in the Norman, Oklahoma area.

General Resources

Maps, facts and statistics on countries throughout the world.

Conversion Calculator
Interactive calculators for many measurement systems both commonly used, like metric and U.S. Avoirdupois, and quite exotic, like Ancient Greek and Roman.

Council on Standards for International Education and Travel (CSIET)
Getting questions about high school exchange programs? CSIET is a private, not-for-profit organization which establishes standards for, monitors, and disseminates information about reputable international youth education and exchange programs. CSIET's annual publication, the CSIET Advisory List, contains information about programs which have been evaluated and deemed to meet CSIET's national standards.

Department of State Background Notes
Official information on every country, prepared by the U.S. Department of State for diplomatic purposes.

Foreign Currencies
Find out what the name is for the monetary unit in any country, and how that money works on the world market

SmartStudent Guide to Studying in the USA
Social Customs and Cultural Differences (eduPASS) lso has information on traveling to and living in the United States.

World Wide Colleges and Universities
Links to the home pages of universities around the world, including international relations links for some of them.

World Factbook
World flags plus facts and statistics on all the countries of the world. Published by the CIA.

Icebreakers, Simulations and Games

ESL Café
A site for of games, hints and fun ideas, intended for ESL students but useful elsewhere

Party Game Central

Provides many party game ideas for all occasions.


Intercultural Press
Many excellent resources on understanding other cultures and facilitating interchange.

Culturegrams are four-page briefings on the history, customs, lifestyle and government of most of the countries of the world. They are excellent ways to prepare community volunteers to understand the cultures from which their students come. The service now offers a kids' edition and an electronic library.


Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication
The well-known Summer Institute in Portland, Oregon.


TravelNotes - The Online Guide to Travel
A commercial site with helpful links to Internet cafés, local news around the world, world weather, and various travel sites.


Volunteer Today
Electronic gazette of volunteerism. Updated each month with the latest news and views from the volunteer sector. Information on recruiting, retention and training methods, plus links to other sites.
Many resources on building effective nonprofit boards, including a 38-page PDF booklet, "Starting a Nonprofit Organization."

A site for leaders of volunteers. Hot topics, online bookstore, links, training and education, articles, recognition items, quotes and anecdotes.

Service Leader
Volunteer management and community engagement online resources. A comprehensive index of all volunteer management resources online; an index of courses in volunteer management at institutions of higher education, and tips for volunteers. Part of the Volunteerism and Community Engagement Initiatives of the Charles. A. Dana Center, UT-Austin.

This site helps people find a great place to volunteer. Volunteers enter their zip code on the web site to find opportunities posted by non-profit and tax-exempt organizations. 

December 2006