Have you ever been to a place that was unfamiliar? Maybe the food was different, the temperature wasn't what you were used to and you couldn't understand the language. Perhaps the pace of life was unusual and the way that people treated one another was strange. What would it mean to you to have someone come along side you and walk you through the strange cultural differences and help you learn the language?
Can you imagine moving thousands of miles away from home and living in a completely different culture where you don't know anyone and all of the strange things listed above are true? Thousands of international students do this every year. Last fall (2010) here at OU alone there were 1,483 international students representing 95 countries. All needed to adjust to the SE Ohio culture. While some didn't have a problem with the language, others really needed assistance from friends who welcomed them to the United States and to Athens in particular. These friends were conversation partners who volunteered an hour a week just to connect and chat.
I encourage you to consider volunteering as a conversation partner. Come along side another to help him or her navigate the customs and language here. In doing so, you will be a blessing. You can sign up to be a conversation partner by clicking here. It's very simple. You will meet a new friend and be able to help acquaint one of the many guests in the USA right here at Ohio University. Thanks!