Rice Unconventional Wisdom

 FISS - Friends of International Students & Scholars


FISS is an opportunity for an international student and a local U.S. friend or family to meet during the year. The local friends and families enjoy getting to know international students, helping them feel at home, sharing cross-cultural experiences, and learning about other countries. This program is offered through a partnership with the Institute of International Education (Houston Office). Feel free to contact the OISS staff if you are interested in participating in the IIE's Friends of International Students and Scholars (FISS), or join us at a training session. 

FISS Friend Application (this link is for the U.S. friend -- if you would prefer to download a paper form, please click here)
International Student/Scholar Application (The online sign-ups for students for the FISS program are currently closed. If you are interested in FISS, please email oiss@rice.edu for more information)    

Important FISS Dates:

Friend Orientations at Rice 2017:
Tuesday, 7/25, 5:15 - 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, 7/26, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Thursday, 8/3, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. 

Friend Orientations for various groups may be available at other times as well upon request. If you're interested in scheduling an orientation for your group, please contact oiss@rice.edu.

Friend Orientations at IIE:

Meet & Greet:
Tuesday, 9/12, 2017, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Pumpkin Carving: 
Sunday, 10/15, 2017, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Rice University and the Institute of International Education (IIE) are pleased to announce the posting of a training video: International Friendship Program. This is a free resource to help give guidance for host families and friends who want to participate in friendship programs. For the video, please go to: http://oiss.rice.edu/FISSvideo.

Check out what previous international students have to say about the program:

"One merit very special in my host family is that they accept the diversity of our social and cultural background as natural. They think it quite reasonable for people from different parts of the world to have different opinions about many things." -- Student from China

"I have an open invitation to have dinner with my host family every weekend. They are always ready to give helpful advice. I also had the opportunity to practice and improve my skills in English." -- Student from France

"I enjoy meeting new people and learning about new perspectives on things, and my conversations with the [host family] have been particularly interesting, though we haven't always seen eye to eye on everything. It was nice that the Host Family program could provide me with one more opportunity to meet someone new and learn something about how people live and interact with each other in this country." -- Student from India

"My host family has been very helpful and supportive and provided me with an American perspective on things in a very friendly and encouraging way. I am very appreciative to the IIE for giving me this delightful opportunity to meet and interact with such a friendly group of people. Thank you!!" -- Student from Pakistan

"It was nice to have someone invite us on several important occasions (Thanksgiving, Christmas, even days without any special meaning). Moreover, this was an opportunity to learn more about the American way of life, customs, and traditions." -- Student from Romania

Get ready for some fun at the FISS Pumpkin Carving Picnic and check out our blog post on "How to Carve a Pumpkin"!