Participating in a cultural exchange program is a unique way for individuals and families to share in another’s culture and traditions as well as introduce positive impressions of Americans. The primary requirement for volunteering in any of these programs is a genuine desire to share American language and culture with international students, and a willingness to learn from them as well. You and your family will gain an understanding of what it’s like to be a foreigner in our country, and you can be instrumental in helping these students adapt to American life.
If you are interested in sharing American culture and language with bright young international college students, consider volunteering to work with new and current international students.
INTERNATIONAL PEER MENTOR SYSTEM OR "BUDDY SYSTEM"
This program pairs current American students with incoming international students through e-mail. Our goal is to pair every new international student with a University of Dayton "buddy." These pairings then communicate through e-mail prior to the new students' arrivals on campus. For our international students, it's a real treat to have someone to talk to before they arrive. Many international students use this opportunity to practice their English, ask questions about the University and the city of Dayton, and get to know American students. For American students, this is an opportunity to communicate with international students before they arrive to the University of Dayton.
After signing-up, the ISSS office will provide participants with instructions on how to contact your "mentees" and additional guidelines. We want to emphasize that the program's main expectation is sustained communication. If you are unable to maintain consistent communication with others, this program might not be for you. If you enjoy learning about other cultures, serving as a "cultural ambassador," and communicating through e-mail, this program is for you!
As a conversation group participant, you will meet and talk with international students a part of conversation group sessions, which will be available two times a week. You can choose to be a part of a conversation group as often as twice a week, or as little as once every two weeks to once a month. You decide on your level of commitment.
During a conversation group session, you will meet students enrolled in the Intensive English Program. Each session will begin with a conversation question, with the freedom to follow the question's lead or take the conversation in a new direction. The primary purpose is to help students improve their conversational English and increase their knowledge of American culture.
Tutors help the Intensive English Program students with reading, grammar, writing and speaking. Tutoring hours are one day a week, Monday through Thursday, from 3 to 3:45 p.m., or Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30 to 12:45 p.m. in two seven-week terms during the semester. Volunteer as little as one hour a month or as much as one hour a week! All University of Dayton students, faculty and staff are welcome to serve as tutors. You don’t need any previous experience or special skills. Training and materials will be provided.