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International Students – Volunteers

We believe that God is bringing the nations to our doorstep and we have the incredible opportunity to show the world His love from right here in Fullerton! Some of the ways that we do that are through one-on-one friendships with the students, parties and events, and our Furniture Giveaway event.

Below is some information on each, along with some other ways that you can get involved.

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Friendship Program

Students often arrive to the United States knowing no one and with little understanding of the culture, which can make it hard to transition to life here. We have the opportunity to reach out to students, offering friendship and care in a time when they need it most. We have seen such wonderful things come out of these friendships and so often hear how the students leave feeling like they have gained a wonderful family in the United States …

“The time I spent in America was just awesome. I am so grateful I could experience so many things and meet so many lovely and great people. Some already visited me in Germany and I will be in America soon to visit them again soon too!”

“It was a special experience for students like us to make friends with local family. I really appreciate all you have done for us.”

Through something as simple as friendship, we can make a big impact in these student’s lives. To learn more about being an American friend, email Sonya Baffa at sonya.baffa@evfreefullerton.com.

FAQ’s on being an American Friend

What is the time commitment for becoming an American friend?

  • Meet with your student(s) once a month.
  • On the off weeks, check in with your student (via phone, email, text, or social media) to see how they are doing and if they have a need where you can help or provide resources, or answer any questions.
  • Pray for your student!

Do the students live with me?

  • No, most students live in the dorms, apartments near the campus, or homestays with local families.

How long are the students here for?

  • Anywhere from one semester to four years, depending on the degree or program. You decide whether you would prefer a short or long-term friendship.

How do I pick a friend?

  • Matches are gender-specific (males with males and females with females) so begin by praying over your match! We encourage you to pick student(s) based on countries, hobbies, and fields of study that you are passionate about and will offer great points of connection between you and your student(s).

Can I have more than one friend?

  • Definitely! Although not a requirement, we encourage you to befriend more than one student, as we find that it creates a more comfortable and relaxed environment for students. Most cultures are naturally more community oriented so don’t be surprised if they ask if they can invite their friends.

Do the students speak English?

  • Most students have passed their TOEFL test, which is the English language proficiency exam. However, English competency levels vary by student. Most students will welcome any help in learning English.

Furniture Giveaway

Next Date: Fall 2018

At the beginning of the fall semester, we host a big furniture giveaway where we are able to gift newly arriving international students with furniture and home good items to help get them started in their new homes in America. This is a huge blessing to students, as they often arrive with little and it can be quite costly to furnish and supply their apartments with necessary items. It really is one of the most fun events of the year!

Countless volunteers are needed to make this event a success, such as truck drivers (and trucks), furniture movers, delivery loaders, home good personal shoppers, giveaway guides, shuttle drivers, hospitality hosts, and more

Furniture Donations

As mentioned above, we collect hundreds upon hundreds of furniture and home good items throughout the year so that we can make the Furniture Giveaway happen. To donate any furniture or home good items, call Randy Brunelle at 909-720-1851. 

Parties & Events

We have a number of events throughout the year, which provide a great opportunity to engage with the students and learn some fun things about each other's cultures.

Fall Kick Off Party

Next Date: Fall 2018

International Student Christmas Party

Next Date: Winter 2018

If you have any additional questions, please contact Sonya Baffa at sonya.baffa@evfreefullerton.com or 714-257-4333Thank you again for your interest in and heart for international students. We look forward to getting to serve alongside of you!


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