Programs Frequently Asked Questions
The Office of International Services has a multitude of ways to get involved on campus.
What is Breaking Bread?
Breaking Bread is one-time dinner program in which Americans invite international students/scholars/families to their home for a traditional American meal. The program is free and transportation can usually be provided. This is a great way to befriend Americans in the community, to practice English, and to learn more about American culture. Applications can be downloaded at https://internationalservices.ncsu.edu/ois-programs/breaking-bread/ and submitted to 320 Daniels Hall.
What is Culture Corps?
Culture Corps is an exciting program sponsored by the Office of International Services at NC State University. Through this program, international students, scholars, and spouses have the opportunity to travel into the Raleigh community, meet Americans, and share information about their countries with Americans. Participants give presentations, demonstrations and talks to various groups including at schools, community organizations, churches, businesses and at Exploris. (Exploris is a one-of-a-kind, global learning center/museum in downtown Raleigh.)
What if I think my English is not very good?
While you may be concerned about your English language abilities, please remember that the people you will be interacting don’t expect you to have perfect English. If you’re truly concerned about your English, please come talk with the Programs Coordinator. And remember, Culture Corps is an excellent way to help you improve your English!
What about transportation?
Most groups will be able to provide transportation for you if you don’t have a car. If you are volunteering at Exploris in downtown Raleigh, the city bus system will take you there.
What if I don’t feel comfortable talking to groups as a Culture Corps volunteer?
That’s OK if you don’t feel comfortable talking to a group. There are other opportunities where you can talk with people on a more individual basis, one-to-one. We can also arrange to have you practice in front of a group at the university first before you go into the community.
How can I benefit from participating in Culture Corps?
There are so many ways you can benefit from participating in Culture Corps! Here are just a few:
- It’s a great way to strengthen and improve your English (if you’re not already fluent)
- It looks great on a job resume
- You develop presentation skills and poise needed for future jobs
- You help Americans understand more about your country and culture
- You travel to different areas in the Raleigh community
- You meet new friends!
- It’s a lot of fun for participants!
What’s the time commitment as a Culture Corps volunteer?
The time commitment depends almost entirely on you. Culture Corps will arrange with you to make at least one presentation per semester, which means a total of a couple of hours, which is really not very much time at all.
How do I apply to be a Culture Corps volunteer?
Be sure to fill out an application form. Then, the Coordinator will follow up with you through phone or email. Once a presentation is scheduled, you will be given the name and number of the person who requested the presentation. Please be in touch with them directly to make detailed arrangements, including transportation.
What is a Departmental Ambassador?
A Departmental Ambassador is an American or international graduate student who volunteers as a representative of his/her academic department to answer questions from new international students. A Departmental Ambassador’s name and email is posted on the OIS website and he/she is willing to be contacted regarding questions about academic or campus life. A Departmental Ambassador is also encouraged to welcome personally new international students to the department if possible and to inform and invite them to departmental activities.
English Conversation Club (ECC)
What is English Conversation Club?
The English Conversation Club is an informal club in which American volunteers assist international students/scholars/spouses with spoken English. Participation is free.
When does English Conversation Club meet?
The English Conversation Club meets every Friday from 3:30-4:30pm in Daniels Hall. For exact room location, contact the Programs Coordinator: 515-2961, email@example.com.
Can the spouse or relative of an NC State student or scholar also participate in English Conversation Club?
Yes, your spouse/relative is encouraged to participate in the English Conversation Club. No sign-up is required.
Can an international person not affiliated with NC State also join English Conversation Club?
It is preferable that the international is a student, scholar, or family member, having some type of affiliation with the university. If you have questions, please contact the Programs Coordinator: 515-2961, firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am an American and am not affiliated with the University. Can I volunteer to help an international practice their English?
Yes, many community members as well as NC State students volunteer on a regular basis and are always needed! More information about our specific programs can be found on the OIS website.
How can I practice my English?
There are many programs at NC State and off-campus that provide English as a Second Language (ESL) courses. For example, OIS offers a free English Conversation Club that meets every Friday from 3:30-4:30pm. OIS has flyers and brochures in 320 Daniels Hall that list various on and off campus English courses. Contact the Programs Coordinator if you have further questions: 515-2961, email@example.com.
How can my spouse practice their English and meet Americans?
All of the OIS programs are available to spouses too! We have friendship and English programs, such as the English Conversation Club and International Friendship program, in which he/she can improve language skills and meet Americans. Volunteering is also a great way to practice English, and the OIS programs I-SSERV and Culture Corps provide opportunities to do so. Contact the Programs Coordinator to discuss your spouse’s specific interests and needs: 515-2961, firstname.lastname@example.org.
International Students & Scholars Engaged In Reaching Out & Volunteering (ISSERV)
What is ISSERV?
ISSERV is a volunteer program that stands for International Students & Scholars Engaged in Reaching out and Volunteering. Community organizations and individuals quite often have volunteer needs and wish to work specifically with international students/scholars (for example, translation projects). The Programs Coordinator can meet individually with students interested in volunteering for a one-time project or on a regular basis. Volunteering is a great way for spouses to get involved in the community as well and to practice English! Other projects have included cleaning up the environment, working with the elderly, tutoring children, assisting at food banks/soup kitchens, volunteering at Exploris global museum in downtown Raleigh, etc. International students, scholars, and Americans can join ISSERV by completing an application and are encouraged to contact the Programs Coordinator to discuss further: 515-2961, email@example.com.
Volunteering With OIS
There are several ways to volunteer! Consider joining Culture Corps to share about your country and culture with others. In I-SSERV you can volunteer in the community on a one-time or ongoing basis. You can volunteer in the International Friendship Program to befriend an American student/community member who would like to learn more about your country and culture. You can also volunteer at New International Student Orientation as a small group leader or check-in volunteer. Contact the Programs Coordinator to discuss specific ways your skills and interests can be utilized, firstname.lastname@example.org, 515-2961.
How can I volunteer for New International Student Orientation?
OIS needs volunteers to serve as small group leaders, check-in volunteers, temporary housing hosts, and to assist with various other needs! Commitment levels can be one-time opportunities or an ongoing position during the academic semester, depending on your time and interest. Contact the Programs Coordinator to discuss the various opportunities: 515-2961, email@example.com.