AMIS Stories

Welcome to our new page, AMIS Stories. Here, we will feature profiles of various people without whom AMIS would not be possible – students, volunteers, host families, board members, etc. We love the people in our organization, and we want to show them off!

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Camille

Camille has been volunteering as a host and Amigo with AMIS for what feels like forever! She is a part of the AMIS family, and has had a special impact on her Amigo family members.

We conducted a short interview with Camille about her involvement with AMIS. Enjoy.

AMIS: How did you find out about AMIS?

C: I’m honestly unsure how I first learned about AMIS. It’s been so long!

AMIS: How long have you been involved with AMIS?

C: We have been involved with AMIS for 8 years now, I believe. Every year we have between 4 and 5 AMIS/AMIGO friends and each year brings new and exciting friendships and learning opportunities!

AMIS: What have you learned through your experiences with AMIS?

C: I have learned that people are genuinely kind and interested in others, regardless of country of origin, faith or other characteristic. I have also learned that other countries do a MUCH better job of teaching their citizens to speak multiple languages than the U.S. The students we have met are all so brilliant and speak English beautifully!

AMIS: Do you have any favorite memories with AMIS?

C: There are too many to count! But, what really makes us happy is when we hear from students long after they leave the U.S. 2 students in particular continue to reach out to us: Nan Yang lives in China and every year without fail she reaches out to wish us a Happy Chinese New Year. We send her Christmas cards every year and are delighted when we find out 2 months later that they finally arrive. Emily Godspresence lives in Nigeria and communicates with us a few times each year as well. She enjoys getting pictures of our daughters and seeing them grow. We worry about her being in a country where some are against women receiving an education and are against Christianity. She teaches at a university in Nigeria and is a Christian so it’s a scary time for her. But, she is so positive that you cannot help but feel positive when you hear from her.

We and our three daughters and all the friends that we invite over for AMIS dinners have benefited so much from this program. We are incredibly thankful for the opportunity to be involved. Our Thanksgiving isn’t complete without international students at the table. Our year isn’t complete without the friendships we make through AMIS. We LOVE the AMIS program!

AMIS: Do you have any advice for international students coming to study in the US?

C: To get involved with the AMIS program! It’s a wonderful way to meet Americans and other international students. And, we always encourage our AMIS friends to bring other international students with them so they, too, can share in the wonderful experience that AMIS friendships afford.

At the top are two photos Camille included with her interview, showing her and her family surrounded by their Amigos.

 

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George

Age: 25

Country of origin: Malaysia

George has been involved with AMIS for about 2 and a half years now. He first learned of the organization when he came to Atlanta in 2013 for the Christmas International House (CIH), where he got to spend his winter break with American host families and other international students. He fell in love with the city and its vibrant culture, and decided then and there that he would attend Georgia Tech for grad school (of course, the outstanding reputation of Georgia Tech didn’t hurt either)! Since moving to Atlanta, George has been involved with AMIS in a variety of capacities.

George wrote a brief essay on his experience with CIH and AMIS. Here is an excerpt from that essay:

“I remember giving a speech at the AMIS International Reception earlier in the fall: I said that United States is such a wonderful place that everyone (the international students) can live comfortably without much interactions with other ethnicities because of the diversity of the country that everyone can find their own ethnical communities, but it is the interactions and understanding of each other cultures make  diversity beautiful. And that is exactly what CIH did – creating a bridge for American and international interactions.”

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