Spending Quality Time in a Variety of Ways

When a new international student arrives in the U.S., he or she may feel isolated and a little confused by this new world.  “What am I doing?”  “Where do I go to get the things I need?”  “How do I get there?” “Who do I ask?”   The typical international student needs help and will gladly welcome the friendship of an American who wants to invest in his or her life.

For the average international student, the limits of time seem to press in from every angle.  An average of 60-70 hours a week is a norm for work and school.  Pressure-sometimes overwhelming–comes from professors, advisors, colleagues, parents, friends and even from themselves.   An opportunity to get a break and have some fun is much needed.

Here are some ideas of activities that will offer a stress-break to an international and a chance for you to develop your friendship:

  • Cook dinner together
  • Invite the student to visit your home
  • Talk about his or her hobbies-or take part together in a hobby
  • Go shopping together
  • Participate in outdoor activities (hiking, canoeing, sports)
  • Show them the sights in your city or town
  • Include them in personal projects you are doing (decorating your home, painting)
  • Attend a sports event together-especially on campus
  • Invite them to church
  • Host game nights
  • Join them at English Club
  • Attend plays or movies
  • Invite them to a family gathering or holiday event
  • Go for coffee
  • Take several students on a weekend trip

Spending time with an international student not only helps to build your friendship, but it also enhances their trust in you.  Showing them genuine concern and care opens up opportunities for heart-felt conversation.  This leads to future conversations about the gospel.  As you spend quality time and show unconditional love, Christ will be revealed through you to them.

1 Jn 4:16         And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. (NIV)