check out our new improved website
(this one will stay open for a while longer-but I suggest you go to the new one now)
你好新的朋友 ( hǎo xīn de péngyǒu),
Now that you are in the U.S. you are the 外国人 “wàiguórén”  or 老外  and this has its difficulties. 
Our COM staff, Joe May and Dorothy Boothe, and volunteers want to help you feel at home. 

Welcome to the China Outreach Ministries (COM) site for our work at the University of Georgia

We're glad to have you visiting our site. Hopefully you will learn more about the services we offer and something about American cultural issues. Scroll all the way down this page to learn MORE about how we can help you as well UPCOMING EVENTS, sample lists of  past events, helpful links, attachments  AND much more useful information. Really do take a look at what we have on this site. it will help you and save time later as you look for information.
COM is a nation wide 501(C)3 non-profit organization, with nearly 100 staff, that has been serving overseas Chinese for over 50 years and for 10 years at UGA! 
We're the only local organization that focuses only on the Chinese and whose staff are members of the UGA approved Campus Ministers Association.

We offer this helpful site: a guide to life in the USA

We have a QQ scholars group # 293763743  please join us!
We also have a COM at UGA Facebook site. If you like what we do, check it out and become a fan.
Here are links to a video about COM that was made by a Chinese student for a class project. It will give you a good idea about some of the things we do.


or  http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNTkxNzQ4Mjk2.html 
 COM Staff at UGA and how to contact us:
Joe May (
亞舟) has a B.A. in History from UGA 1977, a graduate degree in counseling and lived in Tianjin, China with his family from August 1998 to June 2007. He and his wife Liz  know very well what it’s like to be “wàiguórén” and the
difficulties of living cross culturally. He wants to help those here who have needs with language and cultural adjustments.   706-410-7457 cell phone
email: joemay@uga.edu  our students/scholars QQ group is 293763743
my QQ # is 1785803921 and my name is maydaysasia
                In addition, I grew up in Athens and my father was a UGA professor. I know a lot about the area and would love to show you around town to see local sites of interest as well as to talk about your life here and Chinese and American culture. If interested, contact me.

With a Ph.D. in microbiology, Dorothy Boothe knows the stress of graduate school and the intricacies of a doctorate program. She has a long term int
erest in China and the Chinese people and she and husband Mike have adopted daughter from China. She helps with our Mom's Program and the Language/Friendship Program email: theboothefamily@yahoo.com

For a good overview of our COM activities, here is a link to a video that a Chinese journalism student created as a class project Fall of 2010. You can see some of my friends and see clips of some activities
. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4alPDoPChp0


                                            What we do:
We offer a variety helpful actions and activities to help your transition to the USA and specifically Athens, Ga. We offer English classes, friendship partners, small group meetings and studies, cultural events and trips, overnight visits in American homes, help with driving and auto-insurance, moving, getting household items, weddings, etc. For good examples see our list of past events on this site below. 
Joe May is available to meet one on one or with just a few to help with oral English, speaking, listening and reading and to discuss a variety of issues related to American Culture and the relevance of Christianity and the Bible.
For a list of groups and organizations that we co-operate with see the attached " Links to COM friends" document

English classes, small groups and personal meetings:
We help you learn about American culture, holidays, customs, language, cultural events as well as how the Bible has influenced many these things in Western culture. Many Chinese are curious about Christianity and the Bible and we can help give you an overview of these issues and many more.  If you have questions about any of the following we'd be more than happy to talk with you:
  •  purpose in life,
  •  religion,
  •  spiritual issues and the existence of God,
  •  the life, teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus.
 Just give me a email, text or QQ message
We also enjoy just talking about American life as well as Chinese culture, customs and current events.
Meeting times for Classes:
  • Weekday morning English classes will be on Tuesdays  beginning Jan. 14th from 9:00 am-12:oo pm at the Family Housing community room -710 E Campus Rd, Athens, GA‎. Come for any or all of the class as your schedule allows (see map to FGH below)
  • the UGA Family Housing bus goes by the Family Housing office. route http://www.transit.uga.edu/0910%20routes/FH0910.pdf
  • but If you need a ride call Joe May @ 706-410-7457
  • **I also have a group that meets to improve English and gain a better understanding of Christianity on Tuesday afternoons @ 5:30pm at the Georgia Center coffee shop/cafe. If you are interested contact me about this.
  • There is another English class  that I help with on Thursday nights @ 6:30 that meets at Calvary Bible Church near Fook's Foods in the Shops of South Athens Shopping Center 2026 S Milledge, Athens, GA 30605
 Our staff and some volunteers are available to meet with women or men individually  or small groups to help with English language skills. email joemay@uga.edu for more information

I will be attending a seminar about the Bible, Science and Creation on Sat. Feb 22, 1pm-4pm @ Church of the Nations, 8780 Macon Hwy, Athens, Ga 30606. You're invited to join me and then let's go eat afterwards to talk.

In addition to ongoing classes we hope to have some special events in February and March and in April a trip to Charleston, SC. I'll update this page, QQ scholars group and send emails when we have more details.
Easter  Egg Hunt:
Our Easter party will include an egg hunt (so it will be wonderful for families with children), great food, and fellowship It will take place in the afternoon of April 20th.  We will send out more details about the time later.

Everyone who comes will bring one dish of food (enough that will feed 5 other people) so that there will be plenty of food for everyone.  If you want to go, you can sign up after we create the google doc. We hope to see you there :)

Previous events this Year:

Tuesday November 26, 2013-Thanksgiving dinner and short program at a local Church (Living Word Baptist Church). For several years the congregation has invited our Chinese friends to join their annual Thanksgiving Potluck dinner. They provide all of the traditional food: turkey, cornbread stuffing, cranberry sauce, potatoes, vegetables, desserts and much more! It’s a feast loved each year by our Chinese friends. They also invite other internationals as well.

Some vans will come to Family housing building M parking lot and other locations about 5:45 pm that day. If you want to attend please sign up on this google doc and indicate if you want to take the bus or will go in a car. Afterwards the bus will return and we’ll make sure people have a ride home from Family housing.

Here is the sign up sheet 


If you plan to drive yourself, the church is located at 2761 Monroe Hwy Bogart, Ga. 30622 (that’s US 78, just a little outside of 316) http://www.lwbclive.com/816928

Even if you are driving yourself, please SIGN UP SO THEY CAN HAVE A TOTAL.  Just indicate on the form that you are driving

Each year I like to let our Chinese friends and especially the new students know of some Christmas cultural events that take place in Athens each year. These are free concerts/programs and my wife Liz and I are singing in them.

The first is the Athens Choral Society Christmas concert on Dec 5 @8 pm at Hodgson Hall in the Performing arts center on east campus near ECV commons.  The event is free and no tickets are required and it will only last 1 hour.  www.pac.uga.edu     230 River Rd, Athens, GA 30602

           Unfortunately also on Dec 5 is the Athens Christmas parade  in downtown Athens. You might be able to see some of that before coming to the concert.

You are invited to the “Lessons and Carols” program at Redeemer church on Sunday Dec. 8 from 6-8 pm. Liz and I will be singing in the choir and it’s a very nice program of readings about the Christmas story with songs from the choir and congregational singing. It’s a great Christmas cultural experience.

Redeemer Church is located in downtown Athens 165 Pulaski Street | Athens, GA | 30601 at the corner of Broad St and Pulaski Streets. http://www.redeemerathens.com/about-us/our-location/


           Other events are The Athens Symphony Orchestra and Chorus Christmas concerts on Saturday Dec. 14 @ 8 pm and Sunday Dec 15 at 3 pm at the Classic Center downtown Athens. http://athenssymphony.org/

For this event, tickets are free and given out at the Classic Center box office starting 10am Dec 2. They all given out in just a couple of hours. Each person in line is allowed to get 4 tickets. However even if you can’t get one that day, they let people into the concert without tickets about 10-15 minutes before each concert starts. The last few years the auditorium has been very full. These are popular events. The concerts are a good mixture of classical and contemporary music.

CHRISTMAS PARTY DECEMBER 20 AT FAMILY HOUSING COMMUNITY ROOM  7-9 pm. We'll have music, food and games and a "White Elephant" gift exchange.  For the gift exchange, bring an inexpensive gift ($1 or $2 or something you already own) that you have wrapped and put in the pile to give away!! See the sign up sheet link to indicate that you are coming  https://docs.google.com/document/d/14aCNCoa0A4Bqp3Ek3ZkM-YjdB6SlvjWViR1klePd4N8/edit?usp=sharing
Some friends of ours are helping to organize a trip to FLORIDA DEC 26- JAN 2. The first few days are at a conference with staying in homes of local friends. Then the group goes to Orlando for a few days of visiting amusement parks. for details go to: https://www.iface.org/events/florida-christmas-conference/


 COM will host another Friendship Event.

An evening of Dancing and Snacks Saturday September 21 at 7:00pm at Family/Graduate Housing office 710 E Campus Rd, Athens, GA‎ This event will be “Dancing and Snacks”; we’ll share 

food and then I will teach some American dancing. We will provide some snacks but we hope

you might bring some of yours as well. It’s not dinner, just some snack food.
We’ll do some line dancing, both the “electric slide” and some country line dancing. We also

 hope to teach some Swing dancing and if time some Square or Circle dancing, if we have 

enough male and female to partner together. Some of these are American folk dances, some 

just popular dances from different time periods in our history! I think you’ll have fun. Google doc sign up sheet     http://tinyurl.com/nvw8dhs

October 5-6, 2013-Overnight trip to Perry, Ga. for the Georgia-National Fair.

We are arranging for an overnight trip, and a stay in an American home the weekend of October 5-6. We will go to the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Ga. to have an afternoon/evening at the Fair and then stay in homes of our hosts. http://www.georgianationalfair.com/ It’s like a big Spring Festival event with rides, games, music, animal shows, etc. We’ll leave Athens on Saturday Oct 5th at about noon, but we’ll determine that later. The best time to be at the fair is in the late afternoon and evening when it’s not too hot. 6-7 hours there is good enough. Last year we went earlier and had to leave early and go back due to the heat. This year we’ll just go later and leave about 10pm.

On Sunday the 6th we’ll attend Perry Presbyterian Church, have lunch at the church and come home by about 4-5pm on Sunday Oct. 6th

The church has indicated that they can host about 15 people overnight; however, others can come with us to attend the Fair with us and then return to Athens that night. It is about a 2.5 hour trip to Perry.

In order to make this happen we need to have some drivers from among those who are going. Even if they can host 15-20 people, if we can only provide rides for 10 that is who we will take.

The cost for going is minimal. Tickets to the Fair are about $7-10 and you will need some money to buy food at the Fair as well as any souvenirs you may want to purchase. You will also need to give the driver some money for gas.

                We have a google document to use to indicate that you are interested, but signing up does NOT guarantee you a place on the trip. We will have some criteria to determine priority for who can go for the overnight (not necessarily in this order):

1.       Someone who can drive; 2.      Who the host families can accommodate: singles, marrieds, men, women, children, etc; 3.      Someone who has not gone on one of our overnight trips before(you might still be able to go, but it will be considered);  4.      Those who follow the sign up instructions correctlyJ.  5.      The issue of children attending is up to the ability of hosts to make proper provision. Let us know if you have children you would like to bring and we’ll check on it. 6.       Other issues that might arise


sign up in every column A-K.


Already in 2013-2014 school year:
Friendship Dinner for new students and American hosts and volunteers with a talk on Culture Shock and Cultural Adjustment on Aug 16 @ 6:30pm at Milledge Ave Baptist Church (MABC) at 1690 S Milledge Ave  Athens, GA 30605. It's a 5 minute walk from after taking the Family Housing Bus and getting off at the bus stop just by the Family Housing office, as the bus is going away from College Station Road towards Milledge Ave. 
For a form to sign up for our Chinese-American Friendship Conversational Partner  program see below in the attachments: '11 Chinese Friendship Conversational Partner form rev3.doc

To learn more about COM and see valuable resources about living in the U.S. go to http://www.comusa.org/aboutus/about.htm

Check below for links and attachments for articles that will help you. I've added the Georgia Driver's license manual for those who want to get a driver's license. Also we have links to bus routes for Athens and UGA transit
To see pictures of COM events including Joe May's 2011 and 2009 China trip go to
http://www.dropshots.com/COMUGA  and 
our facebook page COM at UGA

Joe's personal facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=810355380
we also have pictures from Dragon Boat races, COM hosting International Coffee Hour, trip to Charleston, and the Dec. 09 Christmas party

Another good resource for English class is International Friends Class http://www.sareptamissions.org/International-Friends-Ministry-v-32.html they have classes on Thursday mornings 9:30-11:30 at Beech Haven Church on 2390 West Broad St. and have buses that pick people up at family housing buildings C and P at 8:55am. It is open to any Internationals in the area. Joe and Dorothy have regularly helped out at these classes.

There are some classes at Milledge Ave Baptist Church on MOnday and Wednesday mornings but i don't know the details.

Beginning March 21, 2013 thursday evenings 6:30-8:30 Calvary bible Church 2026 South Milledge Ave. For more information-Contact Jon by email: deans1200@bellsouth.net

for other classes taught by UGA ESL students see www.wakeupwithenglish.weebly.com
Automobile Information

For car repairs, I recommend a repair place at the corner of College Station Rd and Barnett shoals road, across from the Shell station.

 Barnett Shoals Chevron

2285 Barnett Shoals Road, Athens, GA

(706) 546-6615

 You get your tag and title at the Tag office 3025 Lexington Road, Athens - (706) 613-3130

Get the drivers License  at 1505 Highway 29 North, Athens - (706) 552-4427

for information about getting a driver's license go to:
http://www.dds.ga.gov/drivers/DLdata.aspx?con=1741471757&ty=dl also see attachments below for GA driver's manual attached

http://www.emory.edu/isss/survival_guide/life_in_the_us/driving_in_the_us.html  has helpful information about getting a license.

Non-US citizens holding a valid foreign driver’s license are allowed to drive in the state of Georgia for tourism or business purposes. If the foreign license is not printed in English, the driver must also have an International Driving Permit (IDP) or similar translation issued in accordance with the provision of the Convention on Road Traffic, any similar treaty, international agreement, or reciprocal agreement between the United States and a foreign nation. Non-US citizens must obtain an IDP from their home country prior to coming to the U.S.

Once you have been here 30 days you need to get a Georgia license if you plan to drive.

For auto purchase and auto insurance see the document attached below:
auto insurance-purchase information needed.doc
Many Chinese friends often choose "Progressive" insurance; perhaps because they advertise a lot or you can do it online but the document i have gives information about an insurance agent I use and I think he may have better rates. Some friends have changed from Progressive to him for a better deal. see also http://www.comusa.org/guide/Advice%20on%20Buying%20a%20Used%20Car.pdf


Here's one of our English classes with Joe May and Dorothy Boothe seated in the middle.

Some of the UGA Chinese visiting my son at West Point last year. Unfortunately, he has graduated so he is no longer there to give tours to visitors. Nevertheless, West Point is a great place to visit


China Outreach Ministries (COM)

Ready To Help With Your Transition
To UGA And The U.S.A.

China Outreach Ministries (COM) is an organization with staff who are committed to befriending and showing love to the Chinese who are studying and working in the United States. While we operate from a Christian perspective, having that faith is not required to be involved in our activities.

We recognize that moving to the U.S. can be a difficult and stressful task and we stand ready to help with the transition. We have staff on thirty-five campuses around the country and have helped countless numbers of Chinese in many practical ways.

Some of the activities and services we offer here are:

English classes
one on one English help
classes for moms
airport rides
help with moving and shopping
help with getting a driver’s license, buying a car, and auto insurance (see attachment below)
cross cultural training; dealing with culture shock
visiting churches
American culture lessons
Bible studies
traditional Thanksgiving dinner
trips to dragon boat races
Fall trip to North Georgia
Christmas party
socials with dances and games
special seminars on helpful topics
helpful links to the Athens community

Please contact our staff if you need help with any of the above or other areas of you life in Athens. We look forward to meeting you and helping you.

We are especially good for visiting scholars who want to improve their English and learn about American culture while studying here.

How to Improve your Hearing and Speaking
One great way to do this to read materials and listen to them. Audio books can do this or you can also do this using the Bible. Improve your English and gain an understanding of this influential book all at once!
 Here are some links:
i found out about this site from another English teacher.   http://www.manythings.org/voa/study/     Check out the links at top of page for many more helpful stories and history lessons. It has the written and audio for most lessons.
Here are some other links for listening and reading.

from these sites you can download audio files or listen online as native speakers read aloud. You can follow along and then practice it the way you hear it in order to improve your fluency.  click onLuke text or John text to read along after you get to the site. Books on tape are other good sources. You can often get audio books from the library and you may want a hard copy to read along with.

Another good site is http://www.biblegateway.com/  (click on or copy and past this link).   From there you can enter in the name of Bible book you want to read. After it appears you can click on the audio icon at the left side of the page and listen to it as well in real player. You can also read the Bible in various translations, some of them in versions of easier to understand English. I suggest looking for the "Goodnews TRranslation", the "Amplified Bible" or "The Message" versions

Many wonder about the relationship between science and religious faith. here are some  links to articles abut the subject. The first is from a UGA professor Henry F. (Fritz) Schaefer .


also to see the Jesus Film on youtube.com go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fJ0NSlkvxk
It is a well done film on the life of Jesus based on the Gospel of Luke.
other good sites: http://www.jesuscentral.com/   http://www.yesuzhongxin.org/

Another site with some helpful Bible resources in Chinese and English is  http://www.sfhopechurch.com/resources/chinese-resources/ They are in the process of translating more materials into Chinese.
                Here's a link to a classic Christian book, Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, that has been translated into Chinese:  

Here's a link to a very good book on Ancient China and some early religious beliefs. You might be surprised to see what you find here.

Local UGA and Athens bus links.
 UGA buses are free for all UGA related students and family members. Students can also ride Athens buses using UGA card. Spouses may not be able to ride Athens buses for free even if they have a UGA card.
You can find route and fare information at these links:

attached below is infomation about what is needed to get auto insurance. It is the "auto insurance needed information" doc. Also here is a link with helpful information. It was created for students over in Augusta, Ga but much of it applies to here as well. I just learned that you can drive for up to a year with a valid chinese driver's license.
Information about trips around the US organized by InterFace can be found here. We recommend this group. they offer some great trips, over Christmas, spring Break and in the summer. Go to their link for more information.
the Go west trip link is here:

Joe May,
Sep 20, 2012, 9:53 AM
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