Q: In general, what does the IFP Community Bridges program do?
A: It’s intended to allow students to share their background and experiences with schools and civic groups, but also to give students ‘inside’ access to areas that are of interest to them. Some possible examples are:
A school contacts IFP to arrange for one or more students to give a short presentation on life in their home country, cultural differences that they have noticed in the US, and then time for questions and answers. IFP could ask students to volunteer if they are willing to do this, help them prepare if needed, and provide transportation to/from the school.
IFP arranges a tour for interested students to see how CoorsTek Medical in Logan designs and manufactures specialized orthopedic implants and other products.
Q: How many opportunities does IFP have for students to do presentations?
A: IFP has not really promoted this program to any local groups yet, other than listing a general description on its web site. During the past year, about 6 international students have each spoken to a small group of local students who wanted this to be a regular feature. We believe that opportunities will be there as we understand better how many international students would be willing to do this.
Q: Can IFP help arrange either paid or unpaid internships for local companies?
A: This is not something that IFP has done, but IFP is prepared to help with such requests for opportunities that are permitted by the student’s class of visa. The student would first be responsible to understand university and departmental requirements and communicate those. If an internship is not possible, IFP might still be able to arrange opportunities to visit and ask questions of people in similar careers.
Q: Why would an international student want to do a presentation to a school or other group?
A: Many international students already have some speaking experience and are eager to reach out and share their background and views with others. Others may not have done anything like this before, but they know that it will help them develop communication skills that will be useful throughout their lives. These presentations will generally be made to appreciative audiences who really value the chance to get to know them better.