--by Stephanie Rummel
INTERLINK students have been actively volunteering in the Greensboro community this term. A group of students volunteer in the Backpack Club at College Park Baptist on Wednesday evenings. The students help by filling backpacks with food donations for at-risk children.
Students also volunteered at the Adult Center for Enrichment (ACE) this semester. ACE is an organization for frail and impaired adults, and offers specialized adult day services and respite care. INTERLINK students met with Alzheimer patients and talked with them about their home countries.
The Servant Garden is another place that our students volunteered. Working at the Servant Garden gets INTERLINK students outdoors so that they can enjoy nature, while also working with other UNCG students to make a positive impact on the community. The Servant Garden donates its fresh produce to the members of the Greensboro community who are in need.
For their last major volunteering activity this term, INTERLINK students volunteered at a fundraiser for the Kopper Top Learning Center. Our INTERLINK students helped serve food, organized games, and worked with the animals. This was certainly a rewarding experience for everyone involved and it was for a great cause!
INTERLINK students also actively took part in the International Festival at UNCG on Saturday, April 18. Many wore traditional dress and served food to visitors who were very eager to learn more about their culture. The INTERLINK booth also got a lot of visitors and many people signed up to be conversation partners with our students. If anyone else is interested in this program, please contact Stephanie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
--by Stephanie Rummel
Spring has arrived and so has another term at INTERLINK!
We ended last term with graduation on March 12 when Turki Alkhalifah, Diego Arteaga, Krishna Chepyala, and Quynh Van Duong celebrated the completion of their studies in the program. We wish them luck in their future endeavors. The students presented their advertising campaigns, and pizza was served at the end of the ceremony.
This term started on March 16 with the arrival of 26 new students, bringing the total number of ITNERLINK students, this year, to 190.
We hope that they will have a wonderful experience in the USA. Some students have already been busy volunteering this term. Students went to the Kopper Top Life Learning Center over the weekend and bagged compost which will be sold at the center’s open house. Kopper Top is a non-profit organization that provides therapeutic and educational experiences in a farm environment. INTERLINK students enjoyed riding the horses after a hard day of work at the facility.
An upcoming activity planned for the start of this new term is the welcome party on the lawn in front of the INTERLINK office. This will give students a chance to interact in a non-classroom setting and enjoy the beautiful spring weather. Our students are also looking forward to participating in the UNCG International Festival on April 18, which will be a wonderful opportunity for them to share their culture. We look forward to seeing you all there!
FYI: Did you know that 67% of international students that make it to level 5 of INTERLINK go on to become degree-seeking students at UNCG.
For more information about INTERLINK please visit their website: http://www.uncg.edu/ipg/interlink/
For more information about Kopper Top please visit their website: http://www.koppertop.org/
--By Stephanie Rummel
On December 18, 2008, INTERLINK had seven students graduate and also said goodbye to fifteen Japanese students who enrolled in the Disney program and were leaving for Florida. The Disney students performed a dance for the graduation ceremony and Ruining Zhao played Christmas carols on the piano while staff and students sang along.
Our new term began on January 12 and we welcomed thirty-seven students to our orientation. INTERLINK staff held a pizza party at the College Park Baptist Church to give new and returning students a chance to mingle, and the students enjoyed the opportunity to come together to socialize and share their experiences.
Volunteering in the community has become a very important part of the INTERLINK experience for some students and so, on Martin Luther King Day, eight students volunteered for the “Read On” event sponsored by the Office of Leadership and Service Learning (OLSL). They spent the day with young children, helping with art projects and reading to them. Other volunteer activities have been planned for this term, including working at the Servant Garden, and helping out at the Adult Center for Enrichment.
As well as volunteering, INTERLINK students also embrace conversation groups. An American neighbor from the Greensboro community volunteers to meet with a small group of students, once a week, in an informal setting. This gives students a chance to use English outside of the classroom, share their cultures, and learn a lot more about American culture. INTERLINK currently has ten American volunteers and is looking for more. Anyone who is interested in this position please contact Stephanie Rummel at email@example.com
INTERLINK had 45 new students arrive in October and kicked the term off with a pizza party at College Park Baptist Church. Students and teachers met at the church between classes to enjoy refreshments and get to know each other, and also celebrate October birthdays with cake and ice cream. We also held a Halloween celebration at INTERLINK office where teachers brought in pies, cakes, and cookies and everyone dressed in costume. Later that evening, a group of students went to carve pumpkins and greet trick-or-treaters. These events helped INTERLINK students to understand and enjoy the holiday in true American fashion.
INTERLINK students are also still volunteering at the Servant Gardens. This is an event that is enjoyed by all who participate because students feel a sense of achievement about working with Americans and giving back to the community. Although the work can be hard, students find this to be a unique opportunity and a good way to meet UNCG students.
On Friday, November 21, we celebrated International Foods night with IAF. Each student was asked to bring a dish that was representative of his/her country with people from the Greensboro community offering up the use of their kitchens if students needed a place to cook. The meals were great and were followed by a very lively discussion.
And of course, there was also a Thanksgiving Banquet this semester for students at the Lawndale Baptist Church. Students got to partake in a traditional Thanksgiving dinner and watch the Pride of Carolina Cloggers. It was an enjoyable afternoon with many students wearing their traditional dress.
A group of INTERLINK students also went with ISA on a trip to New York City over the Thanksgiving holiday. While there they saw the sights and watched the Macy’s parade. Students were very excited to have the chance to experience all that New York City has to offer.
It has been a great fall semester and we look forward to spring!
INTERLINK students have just finished another busy term. Many students have been volunteering at the Servant Gardens on weekends and it has been a very rewarding experience, allowing our international students to interact with UNCG students while giving back to the community.
Students at the Iftar Dinner
A group of students also went to the Divan Turkish Center for a celebration during Ramadan. They took part in a traditional Iftar dinner, learned more about the holiday, and shared their own culture with students from a UNCG Religious Studies class.
A new group of roughly 40 students arrived for orientation on October 20 and the Fall II term will begin on October 22.