The Wabash College fall semester begins Aug. 24 and close to 25 international students will begin their freshman year along with the rest of the Class of 2026. It is a banner year for international students, the most for several years.
Since 1986 the Wabash international students have been able to participate in the Community Friends Host Program. Individuals or couples living in Montgomery County are matched with a Wabash international student. Together the hosts and the student decide what form the support will take.
Interaction varies in frequency and type of activitie. Some families help their student with transportation to local stores, invite them for a family meal or take them on an outing to notable sites in Indiana. Others decide the best is an invitation to Thanksgiving dinner.
The interaction is fun and enriching for both sides of the relationship. The international student learns more about American culture by participating in the lives of the host family, and the hosts learn more about the country and culture of the international student. These relationships often continue even after the student graduates.
Judy Schmidt, who founded the program in 1986, still receives a Mother’s Day telephone call from the first Chinese student she hosted. Sheila Evans, former Wabash College nurse, has visited several of her former international students in their home countries.
Amy Weir, Director of International Programs at Wabash, is looking forward to connecting the international students with host families. She is hoping that previous host families will participate again this year but looks forward to new families joining the program.
The Community Friends Host Program is always looking for new volunteer families. If you would like to participate and be paired with a Wabash international student, contact Nancy Bennett, co-coordinator with Sheila Evans of the Friends Program. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone or text at 765-376-4833.
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