Name: Xin Yi See
Hi all, my name is Xin Yi. I came to the USA alone without knowing a single person. However, meeting the International Student Outreach (ISO) group has made the transition as an international student so much easier. The main reason being that people in ISO are genuinely seeking to help international students assimilate into this brand new culture. From the initial assistance of getting a phone plan and buying the right amount of winter gear to survive your first winter, to cultural events such as, traditional Thanksgiving lunch and Chinese New Year events. There are plenty of activities throughout the year to have some fun, meet new friends, and fall in love with Minnesota and ISO. It has been a blessing to receive so much from ISO.
Name: Jared Leong
Home: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Major: Chemical Engineering
As an international student arriving in a foreign country such as the United States of America, most people usually struggle with cultural shock and adaptation to the new environment such as the (freezing) cold weather, people, and food here in Minnesota. But thankfully, I managed to touch base with Pete and Amber from International Student Outreach (ISO) here at the University of Minnesota before coming over and they helped pick me up from the airport and even hosted me at their house for a few nights while I searched for a place near campus to live in. While I was still there, Pete was very kind and helpful to bring me around town to get a new US cell phone number, to the grocery store such as Walmart and Target to buy some groceries and essential items for school. Thanks to their warm hospitality, I felt more at home and not so "homesick" when I first arrived there. It has been almost 2 years since I have known them and we have been seeing and keeping in touch with each other frequently through many social events organized by ISO such as the annual Chinese New Year event, outdoor picnic and games, camping trips, and so much more! It has been a great blessing to know them and I truly cherish our friendship. Above all, I really thank God for blessing me with HIS divine appointment and timing to meet all these wonderful folks here in the U.S.A.
Over the years, ISO had been helping international students to make transition from their homeland to the life in Minnesota. Read for yourself what students have to say about their experiences with ISO and with their host families
... and more testimonials to come ...
Name: Shwu Yann
Home: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I am ShwuYann from Malaysia. I reached Minneapolis in January 2008, the coldest time in Minnesota! I thought I would have suffered from the cold winter but fortunately, I met my host family who gave me the warmest welcome and help! They helped me to get familiar with the campus, my housing and also introduced me to a group of friends. ISO also organizes events from time to time like Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, and even Chinese New Year! These are very good times to get to know their culture and also know more friends from all over the world. =) Thanks to ISO I have had a good time here in Minnesota!
Name: Enthel Tan
Home: Malacca, Malaysia
I came to know about ISO through a friend, who was hosted by one of the families of ISO. From my arrival at the airport to them hosting me in their warm home to me settling down at a new place, the Chan's have been there every step of the way and they have always catered to my needs. And it didn't stop after I moved out of their home. Even after I left Minneapolis, both my family back in Malaysia and the Chan's are still in touch.
ISO is a great community to network with other students and young professionals, and build character through participating and organizing various events throughout the year. Through ISO, I joined the Maranatha church. I've not only grown emotionally but also spiritually. I admire how the families have seen students come and go and yet they serve them with all their hearts without reserve. I really appreciate being part of the ISO family and my experience here in the Twin Cities couldn't have been the same without this family of Christ!
... and more testimonials to come ...
Name: Geok Simm (Jocelyne) Tan
Home: Penang, Malaysia
Before I came here, I did not have any close friends or relatives that could help me in Minnesota. I really felt stressed, worried and helpless until I got in touch with Pete and Amber who work with ISO. They were really nice, friendly and helpful. Before arriving inMinneapolis, Pete and Amber told me a lot of the things that I should pay attention to, especially the weather, what to bring, etc through emails. Then, they picked me up from the airport at midnight (I am really touched about this) and hosted me for a week. In my first week in US, they drove me to school, introduced the school buildings to me...especially my department building in St. Paul, helped me to apply for cell phone and bank account, and brought me to grocery store. They also helped me to look for and move into the apartment where I live in now.
Furthermore, In addition, I have learned a lot about American culture through the activities that were organized by ISO. For example spring BBQ, a Valentine’s Day event, and certain festivals like Chinese New Year and Thanksgiving dinner. I also joined a camping trip to Gooseberry State Park last summer. It was a great experience. I know a lot of new and nice people through ISO.
The most touching thing is receiving emails and text messages from Pete and Amber after moving out from their house. They just like my mum and dad, who took care of me when I had nobody in US. I am really glad to know them and I am very thankful for them and ISO. I cannot imagine how I would be without them. ISO has helped me a lot. With their warmth, I have not been lonely in the US.
Name: Zi Ning Lee
Home: Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Major: Political Science
I am thankful for generous effort from ISO. It is such a blessing to me when I first met with the families from ISO as they are hospitable to open up their houses to have me and my mother over for our first-time American dishes. What is more, I remember they are willing to walk extra-miles to help me and other students to get furniture and phone plans set-up before the hectic semester began. What eased up my stressful university life here in Minnesota are making new friends, going for trips I had never experienced in my country before such as Boundary Water camping trip, Thanksgiving dinner, ski trip, and etc. We meet, we fellowship and we help each other when one of the ISO member is in need. It is worth to join ISO as we not only meet people from different country but also met a couple of good friends from the group. ISO WAS AWESOME!!
SERVING THE NATIONS ON THE COLLEGE CAMPUS