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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 & Treasurer – Matthew Fisher (541-255-0626 or email@example.com)
Secretary – Suzanne Dassenko
Conversation Friend Coordinators:
June Brooks (541-714-7735 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
Craig Biersdorff (541-517-7652 or email@example.com)
Steering Committee Members – Cindee Robertson, Deanna Brandt, Paul Harvey, Rick Obst, Roger Ludeman, and Steve Gilbreath
U of O Liaison – Becky Megerssa
LCC Liaison – Tomomi Kurosaki