Friends to International Students (FIS) is the host-family program offered through the College of International Studies. Its purpose is to match first-year degree-seeking exchange students with local “host” families who help the students adjust to life at OU and Norman through various activities and events.
OU’s international students come from all over the world and many FIS host families have spent time abroad as well, enabling them to empathize with what the students go through as they adapt to a different culture. For the fall 2016 semester there are 55 host families matched with nearly 190 participating international students.
The first event of the year, a Welcome Pool Party, was a big hit. Nearly 75 students and their families came to Traditions East clubhouse to swim, indulge in an ice cream sundae bar, play games and spend time getting to know each other in a fun atmosphere.
Long-time host family, Mitch and Gloria Burrus have had a great experience participating in the program. “Throughout the years we have hosted 23 exchange students and will host six more this year. Personally, we have learned about customs and culture in other countries, and we have also realized we have more in common than different,” said Gloria.
A BIG thank you to all of the local families who serve OU’s international student community through FIS. If you or someone you know is interested in participating, we are always accepting new host families. Click here to learn more about the FIS program.