Information for Volunteers
Thank you for your gift of time as we work together to WELCOME and CONNECT International Students with FRIENDS (you) in the Atlanta area. Whether you have volunteered with AMIS for many years, taking a leap of courage, or both, we want to help you in any way possible. We will use our blog, in part, to share stories of AMIS and cross-cultural relationships.
It is important to the staff and Board of AMIS that you read, understand, and accept our mission and values.
AMIS (Atlanta Ministry with International Students) promotes cultural understanding through friendship and hospitality with international students and scholars in the Greater Atlanta area.
AMIS is a faith-based organization that respects the faiths and cultural traditions of all who participate with us.
Our purpose is to"welcome the stranger", and we do not include religious messaging promoting a particular faith as part of our programs. We expect our volunteers to follow our non-proselytizing policy.
As members of NAFSA (National Association of International Educators), we are guided by and adhere to NAFSA's Statement of Ethical Principles.
Amigo Friendship Program:
As an Amigo, e-mail, call or text the student to tell them that you are their friend in Atlanta. Invite your student out for a meal in a public and mutually convenient location or attend a community event together. Group gatherings in a home are fine, but please avoid one-on-one in the home. Keep in touch and continue the friendship with visits, calls, or emails as you both have time and opportunity. AMIS's monthly events are also a great way to get together and keep in touch.
Tips for Sharing a Meal with an International Student:
For a more detailed read, visit our blog.
Here are a few quick tips we'd like to share:
1) Ask the student how to pronounce their name and what they prefer to be called.
2) Keep inviting if student says, “No” the first time or two.
3) Ask about dietary restrictions.
4) Ask open-ended questions to invite your student to talk about themselves. Be ready to listen.
5) When hosting, put your guest at ease by giving clear directions about where to place belongings, where to sit, etc.
6) In your home, put your pet in another room.
7) Tell them what you want to be called.
8) Be ready to laugh, learn and share.
9) Be gracious and forgiving of yourself and your guest.
Part of what makes international friendships so special is learning about another country and culture from a person who is from there.
In a Restaurant:
1) Help decode the menu and offer suggestions.
2) If you are able, offering to pay for your student would be much appreciated.
3) Consider inviting the student to choose the restaurant and if the food is familiar to them, let them help you order.