By Erica Rakowicz
erakowicz@my.madonna.edu

The International Students Office at Madonna University welcomes friendship building between international and American students as a way to strengthen students’ bonds through the International Friendship Program.

This program is intended for support, education and friendship—a rewarding experience for both international and American students.

The International Students Office (ISO) at Madonna works to familiarize international students with American experiences, while making them comfortable in a new place at a new school.

“Being an international student can sometimes feel like you are somehow removed from the domestic student body, and one thing some students have expressed is that they’d like more of that interaction and ‘American experience’,” said Amy Dickerson, Student Advisor, International Students Office.

Aside from the friendship program, the ISO plans other events for international students to acquaint them with Livonia and its surrounding areas.

The ISO and Student Life Office coordinate Madonna Miles trips that give students a dose of local culture. Next semester, Madonna Miles hopes to travel to the Auto Show, a Pistons game, the DIA and other favorite spots.

As another way to immerse international students in American culture, the ISO organizes workshops on enrolling for classes, how to open a bank account and how to get a driver’s license. For international students interested in the nursing program, bi-weekly meetings are held to help with a further understanding of the program and necessary steps in the right direction.

Students, both American and international, are invited to meet and mingle at the ISO’s bi-weekly coffee time.

International and American students work together in the ISO, using their talents to contribute to the office and its inner-workings.

“Each of them has a different sort of role that they really excel at, so we try to give them responsibilities that suit them,” said Dickerson.

The ISO has other plans in the works for the summer, like a summer English program, that includes intensive English studies and cultural activities. This program will be aimed at mainly high school students from South Korea, China and Taiwan, but college students are welcome as well.

“My biggest goal is to make the students feel comfortable and happy at Madonna, and offer them as many opportunities as I can while they are here,” said Dickerson.

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ISO promotes culture, friendship