Activity Information
Recommended Audience International Students, Study Abroad
Length of Time One semester (minimum)
  • Students from the United States willing to volunteer to serve as mentors for international students.
  • One faculty member or a staff person from the international education office to serve as a support person for the students.
  • U.S. students to serve as mentors.
  • International students (participants).
Number of Participants
Source of Activity Deborah A. Westin - Dissertation Research
Purpose To familiarize international students with U.S. academic norms

Mentorship Program

Mentorship Program between U.S. and international students
  1. Appoint a faculty member or staff member from the international office to serve as an advisor for this program.

  2. This activity would best be served at the department level. Department heads and faculty advisors can recruit students from the United States to serve as mentors for international students, both at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Benefits to U.S. students consist of a heightened cross-cultural awareness and sensitivity to international students’ understanding of U.S. academic norms. International students would gain a clearer understanding of U.S. academic norms such as student-professor relationships, grading systems and other university expectations.
  3. Conduct a one-day training session for U.S. students at the beginning of the semester consisting of understanding cross-cultural norms, relationship-building skills, listening skills and ways to mentor international students.
  4. Throughout the semester, conduct mini-meetings with U.S. students, international students and the appointed faculty advisor to discuss progress and provide support to the students.
  5. At the end of each semester, hold a celebration for U.S. and international students and provide awards to participants such as gift certificates to the university bookstore or local restaurants.
  6. Implement an evaluation program (both process and outcome) to determine needs and improvements for future mentorship programs.