This year more than one million international students will come the United States to study. Three thousand of these students will come to our area here in the Capital District. They come from almost every country in the world and represent the best and brightest young people these countries produce. Some will go home to be leaders one day. (For example, the current president of China was an international student here in the U.S.) When students first come to the U.S. they are curious about America and eager to form relationships with Americans, but statistics say that many of these students will spend one, two, or more years here and never see the inside of an American home.
International Crossroads (formerly know as “Horizons International”) is a Christian organization that for over 25 years has focused on reaching out to international students in the Capital District and connects them with American Christians. This is a unique opportunity for believers to reach people that may have never been exposed to the gospel, or personally known a Christ-follower. International students are usually very curious and open to hearing about God, and this is a great opportunity to practice world evangelism in our own backyard.
International Crossroads has a variety of group events throughout the year like apple picking, hiking, ice-skating, game nights, and “welcome dinners.” They also hold weekly Bible studies on the UAlbany campus and RPI campus, but one of the most important things is the offering of a Friendship Partner Program, which enables a student to develop a 1:1 relationship with a Christian from one of the local partner churches.
*Note: This is not a home stay program. The students don’t stay with Friendship Partners. Rather, FPs try to meet with their students once a month for simple things like a home-cooked meal, shopping trip, holiday celebration, or just a cup of coffee.
The biggest need is for American Christians to come to the Welcome Dinners to welcome the newly arriving international students, and participate in ongoing relationships with them through the Friendship Partner Program. Welcome dinners are family friendly and potluck, and attending this event is the best way to meet and be matched with a new student.
To learn more about International Crossroads, the Friendship Partner program, or to RSVP for a welcome dinner:
– Contact Rebecca Alberti at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Rebecca at 518-232-0403,
– Check out their Events calendar, and/or
– Find them on facebook.