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Community Members Sought for SUNY Plattsburgh International Student Friendship Program

For the majority of SUNY Plattsburgh students, family and all the comforts of home are within a days’ drive. For some, however, Plattsburgh is far, far from home.

This fall there are more than 350 international students at the college. They represent 72 different countries.

To help these students feel comfortable in their new home and learn about American culture off campus, the Partners in Cross-Cultural Learning Program matches interested community members with first-year international students for cross-cultural social events and friendships.

The PICL Program, sponsored by the Global Education Office at SUNY Plattsburgh, gives international students an authentic experience of life in the United States. At the same time, it gives local residents a glimpse into different cultures through interaction with the students. This social exchange allows international students to establish a friendly and supportive link to the community.

Each semester, students are matched with community residents and meet about once a month according to their own schedules for informal activities such as family dinners. PICL also coordinates various social activities throughout the semester such as apple picking, maple sugaring, ice skating and sledding parties.

There are currently more than 50 volunteer and international student partnerships through the PICL Program.

More information for those interested in becoming a volunteer community partner is available by calling Michelle St. Onge, coordinator, Partners in Cross-Cultural Learning at 518-564-3270.

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