Blossoming: An Outreach Opportunity
Auburn Friends of Internationals (FOI) is a network of ordinary Americans who welcome and befriend international students visiting Auburn University to pursue their education.
The FOI Sponsor Program was founded to provide a caring “home away from home” experience for students from other countries who would like to build a friendship with a local family. American families befriend international students to learn from them and to help them as sojourners in our land (These students have their own housing and have passed an English proficiency exam).
Working with local organizations, such as Covenant, FOI recruits American host families and individuals who are interested in sharing life-on-life with an International student or scholar. Auburn University’s “Auburn Family Friend Program” then signs up the interested International students and scholars and pairs them up with a FOI host family.
Auburn University is home to more than 1600 international students and the number is growing. This is a special group of people, many of whom are destined to become tomorrow’s world leaders. It has been estimated that in the next 25 years, one-third to one-half of the world’s top leaders in government, business, education and military will be educated in the United States.
The goal of the Auburn FOI program is to reach out to these students and welcome them with kindness and friendship as they spend their time in Auburn.
Next Sunday, July 29, Laura Fuller of Friends of Internationals-Auburn will visit Covenant to encourage members of our congregation to participate in the FOI program by becoming hosts of international students.
In addition to recruiting FOI hosts, FOI has a couple of practical needs they are hoping to meet in the form of Welcome Basket items for newly arriving international students. Their goal is 80 baskets and they have made a lot of progress toward that goal! Items they still need are lightweight blankets (20 total) and healthy snack items (any quantity). For the blankets, a throw blanket or twin-size blanket is what they have in mind. Something they could cover up with when they sleep or nap, but it doesn’t have to be designed to go on a bed. Walmart.com has a few options, all under $10 price point.
If you would like to provide blankets or snack items, please contact John Parr, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: 334 750 0340.