International Student Outreach 

SERVING THE NATIONS ON THE COLLEGE CAMPUS

We are both graduates of the University of Minnesota.  Pete graduated in May of 2001 with a bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering, and Amber graduated in December of 2001 with a bachelors of science degree in Nursing.  We met each other at our church while both attending the U of MN.  We were married in April of 2005 and now have a growing family.  Pete works full time as an engineer and Amber is a stay-at-home mom and part-time nurse.  We both really enjoy volunteering our time with ISO and love opening up our home to host new students.  It has been a blessing for us to be able to help new international students as they make their transition to the USA.  We have known many students over the years and share in many fun memories.  Hopefully we can share in some of yours too! 

PETE AND AMBER PETERSON

We both graduated  from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus.  Parnell graduate in 1999 with a degree in Fisheries and Wildlife, and Becky graduated in 2002 with a Spanish degree.  We met each other at our church while both attending the U of MN.  We were married in September 2002 and after 5.5 years of trying to have children we now have 4 kids with one more on the way! Parnell works full time with Maranatha Christian Fellowship, a sister ministry to ISO, and Becky is a stay-at-home mom and leads worship at our church.  We love getting to know international students through ISO, and enjoy being able to help them get settled into life at the U of MN.  We both feel that having guests in our home makes life rich!

Our VOLUNTEERs & Host families

SETH AND ALISON DESOTA

JOHNATHAN AND HEATHER BISLEW

ISO are made up of volunteers from every part of the campus. Most volunteers are current students, student alumni or staff. We come from various countries, cultural backgrounds, and speak some different languages. Let's meet some of our ISO volunteers and host families! 

MINnesota state university, mankato

Johnathan graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Stout with a degree in hotel/restaurant management in 1988.  After working a one year in this field, he began working in campus ministry at the University of Minnesota in 1989. Heather graduated from the University of Minnesota, College of Pharmacy in 1999, teaching part time there until 2015. After meeting at church in 2000, they were married in 2002 and lived in St. Paul. Johnathan led a Bible study at Minnesota State University, Mankato (MSU) one day a week for 12 years, until God called them to move to Mankato, MN in 2008 to lead the campus ministry at MSU full time. They have been faithfully serving the students on the campus there ever since. They have seven beautiful children and love to welcome international students and to learn about other cultures. It is a joy for them to help students get settled into the university community and to host international students in their home.

We have enjoyed providing hospitality for international students in our home and on campus at the University of Minnesota for 28 years.  We are familiar with internationals from all over the world, and continue in correspondence and friendship with hundreds of former students from every continent. Our lives have been enriched by the diversity of people we have met. We look forward to meet all the new students each year.  We have raised 5 children, and enjoy their 19 grandchildren, but now as "empty-nesters" we have two of the bedrooms in our home that stand ready for hospitality when the next wave of new students arrive at the University of Minnesota. Students stay in their own private "suite" with a private bathroom, living room, cable TV, and wireless internet.  We love having new students from other countries teach us how to make their favorite dishes in our kitchen.   Our home is truly a peaceful and safe place to live as you transition into life in Minnesota.

University of minnesota, twin cities CAMPUS

We are both graduates of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus.  Mike graduated in 1999 with a bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering and Priya graduated in 2000 with a doctorate of Pharmacy degree. We met each other at our church while both attending the U of MN.  We were married in 2002.  Mike now works full time as an engineer and Priya works part time with a startup pharmaceutical company.  We have four children.  We really enjoy meeting new students and working with ISO has been a great opportunity to do so.  It has been great to open up our home to host new students and we're glad to help new international students as they make their transition to the USA.  We look forward to meeting many more new friends too! 

MIKE AND PRIYA BARDAL

Seth is originally from Wisconsin. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and now working as an electrical engineer. Alison grew up in the Twin Cities, graduated from Bethel University, has worked as a nurse but is delighted to be a homemaker now with children. We have three friendly, energetic young boys: Gideon, Jethro and Enoch. Seth and Alison have helped out with ISO activities for more than 5 years as well as hosted students. Our family lives near Minneapolis in a town called Fridley and attend church weekly at Maranatha Christian Fellowship near the University of Minnesota Minneapolis campus. We also enjoy doing activities outdoors such as hiking, camping and gardening.

BRUCE AND LYNN HARPEL

PARNELL AND BECKY MAHONEY