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i-Exchange

i-Exchange

Overview

Educational exchange can turn nations into people, contributing as no other form of communication can to the humanizing of international relations. —Senator J. William Fulbright

We often hear from faculty and staff members that they would like a way to meet and engage with international students at SCU. This program provides a structure for meaningful engagement that will strengthen both personal relationships and enhance SCU’s global community on campus. The program fosters intercultural exchange and provides international students a personal experience of American culture and “Bronco hospitality.”

The program is designed to:

  • Enhance student experience
  • Facilitate cross cultural learning among international students and SCU faculty/staff
  • Enable broader and deeper engagement at SCU and in the local community

International students have opportunity to connect with a SCU faculty or staff member who has volunteered to provide informal social and cultural interaction opportunities and activities. Participants agree to get together approximately once a month. Students and their faculty/staff buddies build relationships that best meet their needs and interests and arrange to meet at times that are mutually
convenient. This page is primarily designed to brief those who will be i-Exchange hosts, but it will also help new students to understand what i-Exchange is and what is expected of each party involved in i-Exchange

i-Exchange

i-Exchange matches new international students with volunteer SCU faculty and staff members to provide informal social and cultural interaction opportunities and activities throughout the student’s first academic year. The program is not a typical “buddy program” which pairs international students with local students, nor is it a “home-stay” program.

Who can participate?
Current SCU faculty and staff who are interested will register on-line. i-Exchange hosts should expect to engage with their international student buddy approximately once a month throughout the academic year. New international students admitted for fall who are interested will also complete an online registration form. Students will be randomly matched with a SCU faculty or staff member. The number of students who can be matched depends on the number of faculty and staff who volunteer. If there are more students than there are hosts, the students will be selected through a lottery system. International Students and Scholars (ISS) will host two events during the academic year. In the fall, you will be invited to the i-Exchange Kick-off which facilitates introductions and allows faculty and staff to welcome their new buddies to SCU. Then in the spring, ISS will invite all participants to an event to celebrate a year of friendship and cultural learning. Throughout the academic year, hosts and students are encouraged to get together at least once a month. Below is a list of example activities, but be creative! There are many opportunities at SCU and in the surrounding community.

Ideas for Activities:

  • SCU events: theater, dance, sporting, speakers, etc.
  • Meet for coffee or tea
  • Dinner in your home
  • Halloween pumpkin carving
  • Invite to Thanksgiving
  • Go on a hike
  • Local cultural festival
  • Farmer’s market
  • Prepare small “care package” during finals
  • Cook together - take turns selecting a favorite recipe
  • Explore neighborhoods or local cities
  • Go to the supermarket together
  • Museum visits
  • Sporting events
  • Movie nights
  • Game nights

Benefits

i-Exchange is designed to benefit both the student and faculty and staff participants.

Benefits to Students:

  • Enhance your sense of community at SCU
  • Learn about local culture and traditions
  • Build relationships with faculty/staff outside the classroom
  • Increase confidence and improve conversational English
  • Learn more about SCU and the Bay Area

Benefits to Hosts:

  • Build and deepen SCU community by providing a welcoming presence to newly arrived students
  • Gain new perspectives
  • Build a new relationship and enhance personal connections with students
  • Share own experience and explore your own community in a new way
  • Be an ambassador for SCU and the Bay Area