Local

November 27, 2013

Community Friends Program seeks sponsors to host international students

Tags:
Maranda Flynn
Staff Writer

International military officers who train at U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, Fort Huachuca, met for an International Military and Sponsor Luncheon at the Thunder Mountain Activity Centre, Sept. 26.

The International Military Student Office is actively seeking sponsors for the Community Friends Program — a hospitality program intended to provide international students the opportunity to become acquainted with the American lifestyle.

Every year, more than 150 international military officers, from more than 65 different countries, train at the United States Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, Fort Huachuca, under the International Military Student Office, or IMSO.

As a sponsor, or community friend, each host will assist the international officer in understanding the American people and culture by inviting them along to special activities at home and within the community. It is important for sponsors to be knowledgeable about the United States and be ready to answer their questions.

International military students and their sponsors enjoy lunch at the annual Community Friends Appreciation Barbeque at the Thunder Mountain Activity Centre, Aug. 16. A Community Friends Program sponsor provides opportunities for the international students to become acquainted with the American life and culture.

Fikretta “Kika” Grant, IMSO Field Studies Program manager, explained that many of the international students have never left their country, and there are a lot of cultural differences here in the U.S.

“The Community Friends Program is important for the students because it gives them an opportunity to see who we are as people, and not what they see on television,” Grant said. “[The students] have many different perceptions of us, and I think that the local community changes those perceptions.”

Grant chaperoned seven international students to Washington, D.C. recently, where they visited the White House, Arlington Cemetery, the Pentagon, various museums, and many other cultural and educational attractions.

When they return to their home country, students often relate their experience in the U.S. with their interactions with their sponsors. “You must have a sincere interest in making the student feel at home,” Grant said.

Sponsors should invite the student to attend some type of activity at least once a month.

Entertainment should be simple because students prefer to experience the traditional American lifestyle.

“We aren’t asking anyone to house the students. We want people to volunteer to spend time with them, to have dinner with them. Maybe take them out to a movie or hiking. Any activity makes a huge difference,” Grant said.

Charlie Plummer, a current Community Friend sponsor, said, “Potential civilian sponsors should understand that there are no formal obligations and that the level of involvement is up to you, but any amount of contact is almost always appreciated.”

Plummer further explained that his contact with the international students has been rewarding for his Family as well. “This is a great way to informally learn more about various countries and cultures while sharing just a small picture of our own lives,” he said.

Those who decide to become a community friend will be asked a few questions about their background and interests to better match them with a student. Sponsors are not limited to one student or one country.

For more information about the Community Friends Program, or to be a sponsor, contact Grant, 533.0678 or Fikretta.Grant.civ@mail.mil.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Gabrielle Kuholski

Antiterrorism Exercise assesses installation readiness, reinforces important relationships

Gabrielle Kuholski First responders with the Fort Huachuca and Whetstone Fire Departments work together to get a wounded Soldier into an ambulance during the full scale exercise, Apache Warrior 2013, Tuesday. These first respon...
 
 

Labor Day Safety Message

Labor Day marks the traditional end of the summer season and celebrates the American worker and the contributions they make to our great country. I want to commend you on your efforts to control heat injuries through another hot summer. Your diligence and care for teammates contributed to an overall 20-percent decrease in accident fatalities...
 
 
Gabrielle Kuholski

VA clinical psychologist raises military sexual trauma awareness

Gabrielle Kuholski Michael Moore, Ph.D., military sexual trauma coordinator at the Southern Arizona Veterans Affairs Health Care System in Tucson, presents a session on military sexual trauma, or MST, in the Murr Community Cent...
 

 

Glass recycling now available in Sierra Vista

SIERRA VISTA – Clean glass bottles and jars can be dropped off for recycling at the new Sierra Vista Glass Recycling Depot as part of the city’s trial glass recycling project. The Glass Recycling Depot, located in the parking lot of the Pedro Castro Government Maintenance Center, is a glass collection point that is separate...
 
 
Maranda Flynn

FH Community Spouses’ Club accepting new members, shares plans for coming year

Maranda Flynn Fort Huachuca Community Spouses’ Club board members, Katrina LaDue and Lesley Hocker, (left foreground and background), assist new club members, Dana Edwards and Sandi Weishaupt, (right foreground and background...
 
 

Retiree Council shares news, notes Did you forget to care for your Family?

No one forgets to care for his or her Family on purpose. It just happens – more often than one might think when it comes to the military Survivor Benefit Plan, or SBP. Most often, retired Soldiers don’t know the federal law and the time limits it imposes on maintaining their SBP elections. If a...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin