Roger Ludeman – FFIS Volunteer and Steering Committee Member

A born and raised Midwesterner (South Dakota), Roger Ludeman has found that his life journey has taken him to over 60 countries. He attended college in his hometown and became a school music teacher. In 1965 he was selected to participate in a U.S. government sponsored program to study counseling and psychology in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Pitt) where he received his second master’s degree and a Ph.D. in counselor education/educational psychology. He worked as a dean of students at the Penn State Beaver Campus and The University of Toledo before moving back to the heartland to become Vice President for Student Affairs at Bemidji State University in northern Minnesota. From there he moved to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where he became Assistant Chancellor for Student Affairs where he served until retirement in 2001.

Over the years Roger’s interests shifted more toward international education. While at UW-Whitewater he oversaw their study abroad program in Sweden. He served on the first NAFSA (Educators International) committee that developed the guidelines for health and safety in study abroad. He also worked to internationalize his professional associations, ACPA-College Student Educators International and NASPA-Student Affairs Adminstrators in Higher Education. Roger created the NASPA International Symposium in 1996, the NASPA International Exchange Program and helped initiate the global colloquium of the ACPA Commission on the Global Dimensions of Student Development.

roger ludeman & ali zelan from turkey

He has written several book chapters and articles on student affairs and services. His latest book, Student Affairs and Services in Higher Education: Global Foundations, Issues and Best Practices, Third Edition, is being published by UNESCO (over 200 authors coming from about 100 countries). It is a special writing project of the organization that Ludeman founded, the International Association of Student Affairs and Services (IASAS). IASAS has over 1,000 members from nearly 100 countries.

Roger is a Fulbright Scholar, having been awarded grants to teach and do research in Germany (1993), Japan (1887) and South Africa (2001-02) where he and his wife, Sandy, lived for a year. He credits these experiences with inspiring him to travel and study globally. All of this has contributed to his interest in international students and global education. He and his wife retired to Eugene in 2002 and soon found out about the Friendship Foundation for International Students (FFIS). He served on the FFIS Steering Committee in the early to mid-2000s, serving as Chair for a year. He left the committee for several years but continued to serve as a Conversation Friend. He has just rejoined the Committee.

Being a FFIS volunteer and Steering Committee member is a natural extension of Roger’s work in international education during his work life. He believes that the Conversation Friend program is the Jewel in the FFIS “crown.” He has had conversation friends from China, South Korea, Turkey and an ethnic Tibetan from Nepal. Just like our own students, each is unique and proud of her/his home country. Conversations translate into activities and, eventually, lifetime friendships. He likes being called “dad” again.

FFIS News for January 2019

ffis news

A new year is here and it’s time to catch up on what’s new with FFIS:

Conversation Friend Program: Sixty-three of the 68 Conversation Friend program students have been matched! We can always use more volunteers now and in the future. If you’re interested in learning more or participating, send an e-mail to FFIS.ConversationFriends@gmail.com.

Winter Homestay: Twenty-six new international students enrolled for the winter term and three of those students experienced a short-term homestay with FFIS members.

The students aren’t the only ones who appreciate the warm hospitality provided by FFIS host families. Their parents are also very appreciative that their son or daughter has a second family providing a safe and secure environment in Lane County.

Read what a father from Turkey had to say about how FFIS’ homestay program helped to relieve his fears of sending his daughter to school so far away from her home – Turkish Father is Thankful to This FFIS Host Family for Taking Such Great Care of His Daughter!

Spring Homestay: It’s not too soon to start thinking about the Spring Homestay program. Six exchange students from Taiwan and Japan have already signed up for the homestay experience from March 23 to 30. The International Student Orientation begins on March 28. If you’re interested in hosting a student, send an e-mail to ffis@uoregon.edu.

2018 welcome picnic

Welcome Picnic: Our annual Welcome Picnic will be on Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Alton Baker Park ramadas. FFIS members and incoming international students from the University of Oregon and Lane Community College are invited to attend.  You can view pictures from the 2018 picnic here.

Mark Your 2019 Calendar
Spring Homestay – March 23 to 30
Fall Homestay Matching – July and August
Fall Homestay – Sept. 14 to 18
Welcome Picnic – Saturday, Sept. 21 at noon at the Alton Baker Park Ramadas
Conversation Friend Matching – October

FFIS Steering Committee – Thank you to Jean McClain, Kent Henricksen, and Ray Slaughter for recently joining our committee! Thank you also to Steve and Shirley Gilbreath, who retired in December after many years of service with FFIS and the Steering Committee!

FFIS is comprised entirely of local volunteers who believe in and support our mission. The Steering Committee meets at 11:30 am on the first Wednesday of every month from Sept. through June in the second-floor conference room at Umpqua Bank, 675 Oak St., near the Hult Center and Lane County Courthouse. Anyone is welcome to attend. If you’d like to get on the agenda, send an e-mail in advance to FFIS President Matthew Fisher at ffiseugene@gmail.com. We welcome anyone who wants to join the Committee and help to build our organization!

Thank you for offering your time and talents, your home and hospitality, to international students far from their home and families! You become like a second family to them and your heartfelt generosity fosters enormous goodwill. It makes a lasting impact on their lives. That in a nutshell is what FFIS’ mission is all about. Your comments, feedback, and suggestions are always welcome.

Your FFIS Steering Committee
Chair & Treasurer – Matthew Fisher (541-255-0626 or mfisher333@gmail.com)
Secretary – Suzanne Dassenko
Fundraising Committee Chair – Deanna Brandt
Media Committee ChairRick Obst

Conversation Friend Coordinators:
June Brooks (541-714-7735 or ffis.conversationfriends@gmail.com)
Craig Biersdorff (541-517-7652 or ffis.conversationfriends@gmail.com)

Steering Committee Members – Cindee Robertson, Jean McClain, Kent Henricksen, Paul Harvey, Ray Slaughter, Roger Ludeman.

U of O Liaison – Becky Megerssa
LCC Liaison – Tomomi Kurosaki

 

Turkish Father is Thankful to This FFIS Host Family for Taking Such Great Care of His Daughter!

Map of Turkey

International students aren’t the only ones who are nervous about traveling so far from their familiar home and culture to study at the University of Oregon.  Their parents also worry, since they are too distant to be able to quickly lend help and support should their child encounter difficulties.

FFIS’ home stay program is much more than simply hosting incoming international students for a few days to help them acclimate to America, Eugene/Springfield, and the University.   FFIS volunteers usually become interim parents, offering ongoing advice and assistance for the student they’ve hosted.

That warm welcome and hospitality alleviates not only the students’ fears, but also those of their parents back home.  This letter to the FFIS Steering Committee from a father in Turkey helps to illustrate how impactful the home stay program can be.

To the Steering Committee of the Friendship Foundation for International Students,

My daughter is an exchange student at the University of Oregon from L’Université Lumière Lyon 2, France.

Turkish Student, June Brooks

I am writing this letter to express my sincere gratitude to your organization for doing such a great job for the incoming foreign students. Having graduated from a high school in her home country Turkey, my daughter started her higher education in France in the fall of 2016. It was a big event not only for her but also for us, the parents since it was the first time she left the family to live alone in a foreign country. But we were content with the feeling of her being only a few hours away in a place not so unfamiliar to our “little” girl.

Last year when she decided to go to the U.S. for a year of exchange, it was a much bigger event for us. The U.S. was so far away when you look from this part of the world.  We had no possibility to reach her in a few hours or days if she needed us. I knew things there were different: the systems, the tastes, the looks, the layouts, the behaviors, the thoughts, sizes, habits, namely every little thing would be new and require an adjustment. We didn’t know what her new life would offer her: happiness or not. Namely, the situation was uncontrollable, novel and unpredictable.  As parents, we had every reason to feel stressed.

Luckily, we had a host family in Eugene coordinated in advance by your volunteer organization. The moment Mr. Dan Kaye met my daughter at the airport upon her arrival and Mrs. June Brooks welcomed her at their sweet home with warm heart we said goodbye to our parental worries.

During the week of orientation at the University, June and Dan became her new parents and eased her entrance to a new life, which could have been very hard and difficult otherwise. They give a pleasant and sincere environment, so she never felt left alone or abandoned.  They guided her through the City and the University, so she never considered that she was a stranger or lost.  They provided some of the stuff she needed at her apartment and showed her where to get more, so she learned that the coming days would be easy and simple.

Photo #1

Not only in the first week, but June and Dan also continued their parental role in the ongoing months. They kept in contact, met occasionally at breakfasts or dinners, and never missed special occasions like Thanksgiving or Christmas tree decoration that “families” typically got together.  You can imagine how we took a breath knowing how comfortable she was at a distance of ten thousand kilometers away from us and that our co-parents were giving a safe and secure environment to our daughter.

I need to add a few words about the University of Oregon, the City of Eugene, and the Eugeneans. Although UO houses more than 20.000 students, Ducks as they call themselves, their actual number is more than this since the City literally and figuratively embraces the University. I can’t think of the City without the University and vice versa.

Maybe, Oregon Ducks, the U.S.-wide famous football team of the University characterizes the unity of the City and University. I was shocked when my daughter told me that at the opening night of the football season, the Autzen Stadium audience was close to 60,000 in attendance.  The UO is a big part of the City itself and every Eugenean is a Duck. This unity provides a safe environment and trustable people for the students. UO most definitely must be one of the best choices for exchange students and parents.

Actually, the Friendship Foundation for International Students is the proof of the paragraph above – a group of Eugene volunteers working for the benefit and well-being of international Ducks.  Your efforts are appreciated by parents from all over the world. Thank you.

Thank You 01

Happy New Year and Thank You to All of Our FFIS Volunteers!

If you want to touch the past, touch a rock.
If you want to touch the present, touch a flower.
If you want to touch the future, touch a life.

Happy New Year

Dear FFIS Volunteers,

Happy New Year!  The FFIS Steering Committee is very appreciative of your commitment, time, efforts, and sacrifices in truly embodying our mission – fostering goodwill between the local community and UO international students, alumni, scholars, and their families.

Thank You 01

Your combined efforts over the years as FFIS volunteers have helped to impact the lives of literally hundreds of incoming international students. Those contributions can’t be measured. Your investment in their lives will pay dividends for many years in the future, often in ways that no one could foresee.

You volunteered without expectation of fame, glory, or community appreciation. Your efforts were more deeply motivated, and everyone’s lives that you’ve touched (directly and indirectly) are the better for it. THANK YOU for your service!

Thank You 02

 

This Japanese Student Really Appreciated Her FFIS Conversation Friend

Japan Map

The Conversation Friend Program is a unique opportunity for FFIS volunteers to connect with an international student during the student’s first year in Eugene. A student and a volunteer are matched on the basis of shared interests and meet for one hour a week in a public setting.

This is what a Japanese student wrote about her FFIS Conversation Friend experience:

I am really lucky because you are my conversation friend.  We talked about lots of things and you taught me various cultural differences.  I really like to go shopping with you.  And I can describe the store and shopping differences between here and Japan easily and clearly.

You tried to understand my poor English every time and it was great chance for me to practice English.  Recently, some people told me that I improved my English. I know you helped me to improve my English.  And I really appreciate that you introduced me to your family and friends.  It was really great time to see lots of new people. I really like your family, especially your cute nieces and nephews.

Interested in becoming an FFIS Conversation Friend (if you’re not already)?  Read “A Conversation About the Conversation Friend Program” and then contact Conversation Friend Coordinator Craig Biersdorff at FFIS.ConversationFriends@gmail.com or 541-517-7652.

FFIS News for November 2018

ffis news

Fall is here and the holidays are fast approaching. We’d like to update you on some of the FFIS activities the Steering Committee is working on.

Share Thanksgiving (Nov. 22)Thanksgiving is a very traditional American holiday. Thirty-five international students signed up to share this special day with an FFIS family. Seven families have offered to host 13 students, leaving 22 students hoping for the opportunity. Students usually feel more comfortable if another student is with them, so ideally FFIS families could invite two or more students. If you’re interested, complete the online application and we’ll be in touch.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Thanksgiving Dinner at an FFIS Volunteer’s Home

International Thanksgiving Celebration (Nov. 18) – The international student community in Eugene and Springfield is invited to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner on Sunday, Nov. 18, beginning at 4:00 pm in the Morse Event Center on the Northwest Christian University campus near the UO. Last year they had several hundred students from UO, LCC, NWCU, and elsewhere attend. The organizers asked the FFIS Steering Committee if any of our members might be interested in volunteering to work as servers that afternoon. If you’re interested, or would like to learn more, send an e-mail to Karen Head at khead@nwcu.edu.

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The turkey is almost ready for hungry UO international students to eat!

Conversation Friend Program – Conversation Friends are still needed. Fifty-nine international students have applied and 48 have been matched to date. If you’re interested in volunteering, or know someone who might be, contact either June Brooks (541-914-7735) or Craig Biersdorff (541-517-7652) or send an e-mail to ffis.conversationfriends@gmail.com.

Winter Home Stay – The influx of incoming international students for the winter term is not large, but there may be a need for additional FFIS families to host prior to the start of classes in early January. If you’re interested, send an e-mail to ffis@uoregon.edu.

Fisherman's Market in Eugene, Oregon

Fundraising Opportunity @ Fisherman’s Market (Nov. 12, Veterans Day) – The second Monday of every month is when we have the chance to enjoy some great seafood and help FFIS financially. Print out the voucher below and bring it with you to Fisherman’s Market this Monday (11/12). Give it to them when you order something off of their menu, purchase some of their delicious frozen takeout meals to prepare at home, or buy some seafood to serve at Thanksgiving or another meal. Twenty percent of your purchase will come back to FFIS to help support our programs. Can’t make it on Nov. 12? Mark Dec. 10 on your calendar and make plans to visit Fisherman’s Market at 830 W. 7th Street then. Additional parking is available on the north side of 7th Street if needed.

Fisherman's Market FundraiserFundraising Opportunity @ Mosaic (Nov. 26 – Dec. 2) Susan Costa is an FFIS member and owner of Mosaic Fair Trade Collection. The store sources products from producers in developing countries who receive living wages and have safe working conditions with no child labor. KVAL aired a story recently about Susan and her fair trade store.

Mosaic Logo

During the week after Thanksgiving (Nov. 26 to Dec. 2), Susan is offering to donate 20% of her sales to FFIS. Stop by her store at 28 East Broadway. It’s just east of Voodoo Donuts and Kesey Square and she validates parking in the nearby city garages. Print out the  flyer below and present it when you do some Christmas shopping. Call the store at 541-344-4000 if you have any questions.

FFIS Fundraiser at Mosaic

Thank you to all of our volunteers who open their hearts and homes and provide a friendly environment for international students in our community!

Getting the Word Out About FFIS – Although FFIS has been around for almost 70 years, it’s not well known in our local community. Two FFIS volunteers recently let us know about potential opportunities to share what we do: 1) an Acts of Kindness segment on KMTR with news anchor Jody Reynosa, and 2) to give a brief presentation at a Eugene Chamber of Commerce Greeters meeting in 2019. We’re working on converting these opportunities into realities.

If you know of ways in which we can spread the word about FFIS and its programs, send an e-mail to ffiseugene@gmail.com. We’ll let you know when to tune in to KMTR as we learn more!

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FFIS’ Share Thanksgiving Program Creates Fond Memories (And Full Stomachs)

FFIS Steering Committee – FFIS is comprised entirely of local volunteers who believe in and support our mission. The Steering Committee meets at noon on the first Wednesday of every month from Sept. through June in the second-floor conference room at Umpqua Bank, 675 Oak St., near the downtown Hilton and Lane County Courthouse. Anyone is welcome to attend. If you’d like to get on the agenda, send an e-mail in advance to FFIS President Matthew Fisher at ffiseugene@gmail.com. We welcome anyone who wants to join the Committee and help to build our organization!

Thank you for offering your time and talents, your home and hospitality, to international students far from their home and families! You become like a second family to them and your heartfelt generosity fosters enormous goodwill. It makes a lasting impact on their lives. That in a nutshell is what FFIS’ mission is all about. Your comments, feedback, and suggestions are always welcome.

Your FFIS Steering Committee

Chair & TreasurerMatthew Fisher (541-255-0626 or mfisher333@gmail.com)
SecretarySuzanne Dassenko

Conversation Friend Coordinators:
June Brooks (541-714-7735 or ffisconversationfriends@gmail.com)
Craig Biersdorff (541-517-7652 or ffisconversationfriends@gmail.com)

Steering Committee MembersCindee Robertson, Deanna Brandt, Paul Harvey, Rick Obst, Roger Ludeman, and Steve Gilbreath

U of O LiaisonBecky Megerssa
LCC LiaisonTomomi Kurosaki

 

New Zealand Student Shares Her Experience in the FFIS Homestay Program

New Zealand Map

The FFIS Homestay Program matches international students with local community volunteers for a short-term homestay when the student first arrives in Lane County. Volunteers open their hearts and home to young adults far from home, helping them to get oriented and settled. The friendships built during that brief period often last well beyond when the student has returned to their native country. Homestay families have created many fond memories for the students that they’ve hosted.

Read what this University of Oregon student from New Zealand had to say about her FFIS homestay experience:

Patricia was the most wonderful host I could ever have wished for. She went above and beyond what might have been expected as a host mom. It wasn’t long after she first picked me up from the train station, with her dog Shambhala, that she became not only my host, but also my good friend.

Our first stop when I arrived was a tour of the Eugene Saturday Market. Over the next few nights we shared many dinners at local restaurants, as well as staying in and enjoying delicious home-cooked food and a glass of wine. She took pride in showing me the best parts of Eugene. Patricia let me stay with her longer than expected, as it took me a while to sort out a place to live. She made me feel completely welcome and relaxed throughout my stay with her. 

Patricia’s kindness and friendship did not stop when I left her house and moved into my own apartment. She lent a bike and helmet to me during my whole semester there. When I moved out, she provided me with sheets, pillows, a comforter, blankets, towels and a lamp, all of which I borrowed from her house.

 She supported me throughout my time in Eugene. When I was feeling down, she would always be there for me. She was genuinely one of the best friends I made on my whole trip, and I value her friendship dearly.

 I would like to say thank you to Patricia for showing me the best of Eugene. I hope we will continue to be friends, and hopefully see each other again, either in the USA or New Zealand – where she certainly has a place to stay!!

The FFIS Homestay Program is for incoming UO international students starting the fall, winter, and spring terms.  If you’d like to host an international student in FFIS’ Homestay Program, contact Becky Megerssa, UO Liaison, at 541-346-1436 or ffis@uoregon.edu.

FFIS Host Families Share Their Thoughts About Hosting a University of Oregon International Student

Joy & Susie with Susie's Parents

The FFIS Homestay Program matches international students with local community volunteers for a short-term homestay when the student first arrives in Lane County. Volunteers open their hearts and home to young adults far from home, helping them to get oriented and settled. The friendships built during that brief period often last well beyond when the student has returned to their native country. Homestay families have created many fond memories for the students that they’ve hosted.

FFIS host families hosted 95 incoming international students prior to the start of the fall term.  This is what some of the host families had to say about their experience hosting an incoming international student:

What was the most rewarding part of hosting?

 Getting to know these two incredible young women. Hearing about their lives at home and their plans for their futures. We also love their excitement and their joy about being in Eugene and about to start their studies at the U of O. Their enthusiasm is contagious.

 Shota was excellent and was very easy to have in the house. It is always enjoyable being the landing place for students when they are first arriving.

 Meeting new people and sharing cultures and food.

 Meeting people from all over the world, making new friends, learning their culture, but most of all blessing them by easing their tensions and anxieties of starting school in a new country and school.

 Making new friends.

Greeting at the Airport

Learning new perspectives, from the lens of another country. Meeting young people from other countries. Learning about other cultures.

 Getting to know this remarkable young woman from Uzbekistan and admiring her intelligence, maturity and sense of humor. She taught us so much about the history of the Silk Road, the Mongols and Genghis Khan. We enjoy learning about other cultures and maintaining relationships with the students while they’re in Eugene and beyond. We also love having them share their cuisine with us.

 Learning about other cultures.

 Learning about new cultures and countries and how they do things.

Getting to know this wonderful woman from France and spending time with her, hiking, showing her around Eugene and getting her set up at the U of O.

 We always love meeting people from other countries and cultures.

Bike Riding with Katherin from Peru for Post

 The opportunity to learn about the student & their culture.

Our student was very sweet and appreciative of our help and hospitality. She enjoyed shopping and chose her purchases very carefully. Since I like shopping, this was an activity we could share.

 Our student is so nice!

 The whole experience was a delight.

 Knowing that I helped someone.

 Getting acquainted with each student and learning about their life, home, and culture.

 There are usually more students wanting a homestay experience than there are available host families. FFIS provides short-term homestay experiences for the fall, winter, and spring terms. If you’re not yet a volunteer, but are interested in learning more about the program, read the FAQ page or e-mail FFIS@UOregon.edu.

Suzanne & Bill Dassenko

Les and Marian Brod Share Their Experience With The FFIS Conversation Friend Program

Les Brod & Marcia

Les and Marian Brod have been FFIS Conversation Friend volunteers for many years.  In this post they share recent experiences with their Conversation Friend from China:

Yunhong Bai, or Marcia as she liked to be called in English, came to the UO as a “courtesy professor” from a university in Beijing. Her purpose here was to learn how to teach English more effectively and to improve her own language skills, which were already quite good upon arrival. As a retired teacher of English, I quickly discovered we had much in common, but our conversations were not limited to teaching. For example, we discussed culture, politics, daily life, foods, wine and my weak Chinese language ability, among many other topics. 

During Marcia’s stay my wife, Marian, and I invited her and another visiting Chinese professor, Shirley, to our house where we all participated in making “baozi,” a type of filled dumpling common in Chinese cuisines.  The water boiled, the flour flew, and the roller flattened. 

Meanwhile we scooped filling, pinched baozi closed, and flung them into the pot of boiling water. We had a nice dusting of flour in the kitchen, but the results were great. During another meeting, we took Marcia to a winery for her first wine tasting experience; she enjoyed it immensely and now knows about Oregon Pinot Noir.

I would strongly encourage anyone who is a bit adventurous and wants an up-close and personal experience with people from other cultures to consider an FFIS conversation partner. It provides you with new insights, keeps your brain from gathering cobwebs and provides students and scholars from other countries the opportunity to get acquainted with real Americans–not just the ones they read about in their news headlines.

Interested in becoming an FFIS Conversation Friend if you’re not already?  Read “A Conversation About the Conversation Friend Program” and then contact Conversation Friend Coordinator Craig Biersdorff at 541-517-7652 or FFIS.ConversationFriends@gmail.com.

FFIS News for October 2018

Greeting at the Airport

A new University of Oregon school year has begun and FFIS has been active in welcoming new international students and scholars to our community through our short-term homestay program and Welcome Picnic.  We’d like to share some information about what’s been happening and remind you about our upcoming fundraiser at Fisherman’s Market on Monday, Oct. 8.

Fall Homestay Program – FFIS volunteers hosted 95 incoming international students in mid-September.  Thank you to the host families for opening up your hearts and homes to these students!  We surveyed host families and students to get their feedback after the homestay concluded.  These two blog posts share some of the students’ comments:

FFIS Homestay Students Share What Was the Most Rewarding Part of Being with A Local Host Family
FFIS Homestay Students Share What Was the Most Challenging Part of Their Homestay Experience

Welcome Picnic – Our annual picnic welcoming incoming UO and LCC international students was held on Sunday, Sept. 16, at Alton Baker Park.  Between 300 to 400 students attended.  Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis, Springfield Mayor Christine Lundberg, LCC President Margaret Hamilton, and UO President Michael Schill attended and spoke words of welcome.  Photos taken at the picnic can be viewed in this Flickr album and in this Facebook album.

U of O Daily Emerald Story About FFIS – U of O Daily Emerald reporter Olivia Sanchez attended our Welcome Picnic at Alton Baker Park on Sept. 16 and wrote a story about FFIS that was published online and on page 3 of the Sept. 25 print edition.

Fundraising – FFIS is an all-volunteer non-profit and relies upon fundraising and donations to pay for its programs.  Here are five ways that you can help:

Fisherman’s Market will donate 20% of voucher purchases on the second Monday of each month to FFIS.  This Monday, Oct. 8, is the next fundraising opportunity.  They’ll write the purchase amount at the bottom of the voucher when you place your order from their menu.  They also have take-and-bake seafood meals available that are delicious.

Fisherman's Market in Eugene, Oregon

 Fred Meyer Community Rewards Program – If you shop at Fred Meyer, link your Rewards Card to FFIS.  In addition to the Rewards points that you’ll earn, Fred Meyer will also count those points as a donation to FFIS.  Learn more about the program and how to sign up here.

fred-meyer-logo

eScrip – Register your credit and/or debit card on the eScrip website denoting FFIS as your organization of choice.  Learn more about this program here.

Direct Donation – Checks made payable to the Friendship Foundation for International Students can be mailed to: Friendship Foundation for International Students, c/o Office of International Affairs, 5209 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403.

Pints for a Cause (LCC) – FFIS is also working with LCC’s International Programs.  LCC provided student workers, rice, and other items at the Welcome Picnic.  They have a fundraiser at Ninkasi’s Tasting Room on Thursday, Oct. 25.

Conversation Friend Program – Thirty-five students have signed up for the fall Conversation Friend program with more signing up almost daily.  We’ve been able to match 25 students so far and especially need male FFIS volunteers.  For those unfamiliar with how this program works, read A Conversation About the Conversation Friend Program.  If you’d like to learn more or volunteer, contact Craig Biersdorff at 541-517-7652 or ffisconversationfriends@gmail.com.

These posts share volunteer and student experiences in the program:

A Chinese Student Shares Her Thoughts About FFIS’ Conversation Friend Program
Susie Trant’s Experience as a Conversation Friend Volunteer
This Chinese PhD Student Appreciates His FFIS Conversation Friend

Maria from Finland and June Brooks

Photos – Do you have photos with your FFIS student(s) to share for possible use on future website blog posts?  They don’t have to be recent.  Send them to ffis@uoreogon.edu with a brief description of who is in each photo.

Have an Interesting Story for a Blog Post? – We’re always on the lookout for stories about FFIS volunteers and their experiences with the international students they’ve met.  Send an e-mail with some few details about your story to ffis@uoregon.edu and FFIS Steering Committee member Rick Obst will follow up with you.

Your Feedback – The Steering Committee welcomes your feedback and comments.  Send an e-mail to FFISEugene@gmail.com if you have anything that you’d like to share.  Thank you for being a part of this great local organization!

Your FFIS Steering Committee

Chair & TreasurerMatthew Fisher  (541-255-0626 or mfisher333@gmail.com)

SecretarySuzanne Dassenko

Conversation Friend Coordinators:

June Brooks  (541-714-7735 or ffisconversationfriends@gmail.com)

Craig Biersdorff  (541-517-7652 or ffisconversationfriends@gmail.com)

Steering Committee MembersCindee Robertson, Deanna Brandt, Paul Harvey, Rick Obst, Roger Ludeman, and Steve Gilbreath

U of O LiaisonBecky Megerssa

LCC LiaisonTomomi Kurosaki