Friends of International Students

Friends of International Students (FIS) is a non residential host family program for international and exchange students, global nomads, and language assistants at The College of Wooster. It is a cooperative effort between the Office of International Student Affairs (OISA) and volunteers in the local community. Our goal is to connect international students with local families who will support their experience here as well as enjoy the opportunity for cultural exchange. Many FIS matches result in true and lasting friendships! Other relationships are less interactive, but are still helpful for a student whose family lives very far away. New matches are made in late July and early January.

Learn about your student's home country!

View the FIS Photo Album!

FIS Application Forms

FIS Volunteer Coordinators

International Students make up approximately 6% of the student body at The College of Wooster. We enroll approximately 132 students from 38 countries; India, Pakistan, and China are currently the largest nationality groups represented on campus. Most international students come to Wooster to complete their undergraduate degree; all live on campus. One-year exchange students and language assistants are invited to participate, as are American students who are living abroad.

FIS Hosts come from local communities and represent a range of life stages and family types. They share myriad talents, experiences, and perspectives with international students, and they enjoy the opportunities for cultural exchange and personal enrichment that FIS brings into their lives.

FIS Support is a central feature of OISA’s mission. You are invited to contact the Office or one of the three Volunteer Coordinators any time that you have questions or creative ideas, or you would like advice on working with your FIS partner. Participants are asked to complete an evaluation each spring to help us determine the success of the match.

Special Events

The OISA and Volunteer Coordinators plan opportunities to encourage FIS relationships to grow. We offer coupons for campus and community activities and organize special group events like those listed below:

Woo@First GLANCE Picnic: New FIS participants are invited to meet one another during this picnic, which is held in mid-August.

Family Weekend Potluck: FIS hosts are invited to participate in the College’s Family Weekend program, which takes place each fall. We host an all-group potluck for FIS participants during the Weekend.

A Cozy Winter’s Night: In early February, students and FIS hosts are invited to a group event of some kind. Some years we have organized a “game night” or a “soup night” by the fire. We will let you know the plan - through COSMOS or with a postcard invitation.

FIS Bowling Night: FIS students and hosts are invited to an evening of bowling at Lowry Scot Lanes. It is lots of fun. We will let you know the plan - through COSMOS or with a postcard invitation.

Graduation Reception: International seniors and their FIS families are invited to a special reception during Commencement weekend, hosted by the Women’s Advisory Board. This event provides an opportunity for FIS hosts to meet their students’ families and friends from home!

Things to do together

Be creative! Include one another in your everyday lives. It takes time and energy to allow any relationship to grow.

  • Experiment with ethnic food
  • Bake cookies
  • Watch movies
  • Play American football or cricket
  • Visit the County Fair
  • Share a holiday meal
  • Pack a picnic
  • Go hiking
  • Biking
  • Canoeing
  • Bowling
  • COW Family Weekend
  • International Education Week
  • Sporting events
  • Musical performances
  • Watch the news
  • Celebrate a birthday
  • Talk politics
  • Shop ‘til you drop

Families introduce students to U.S. culture and life off-campus. Students introduce families to a new culture and to events that take place on campus.

Please note that host families are not expected to provide break housing and it is never appropriate to ask your host family for financial assistance. Concerns regarding finances, academics, or immigration matters should be referred to the Office of International Student Affairs. The OISA is a resource for questions regarding activities, setting limits and mutual expectations related to the FIS experience. If matches are not successful, you simply need to let us know!