Annual Programs and Affiliated Groups
The Tufts University International Center sponsors the Intercultural Conversation Program, a volunteer program that matches Tufts University (Medford Campus) English-speaking students and staff with first year international graduate students who want to practice their conversational English skills, learn more about U.S. life and culture, and find their way around Tufts or the Boston area.
What is expected of me?
The Intercultural Conversation Program is an informal partnership with some scheduled activities such as weekly one-to-one meetings, pumpkin carving, Thanksgiving dinner, and end-of-the-program event.
Participation in the program is September - December.
Partners are expected to contact each other to set up a regular meeting time (one hour per week during the fall semester). This is typically initiated by the mentor, but should eventually become a joint effort!
The place(s) you meet are up to the two of you. You may find a good place on campus to talk over lunch, coffee, etc. and after a while, you may want to attend different activities together both on and off-campus.
What do we talk about?
If it is the international partner's first extended stay in the U.S., they will probably need assistance from their mentor in answering questions about how to get around Tufts and Boston; where to buy clothes and food; questions about the U.S. classroom and academics, etc.
If the mentee has lived in the U.S. longer, both partners may want to talk about topics related to each other's cultures, hobbies, etc.
Why should I become involved?
Some comments made by past participants may provide the best answers:
"At first, I expected a conversation partner as a[n] English teacher. Yet I realized it is more interesting for me to share my culture with someone who is interested in it. Since we are friends now, we'll keep in touch!" - Student from Japan
"I really enjoy talking to my partner and meeting the other students in the program. They have had so many different experiences in places that I have never been, and they have much to share." - English-speaking (U.S.) partner
"My partner and I developed a close friendship during the ICP program and enjoyed our companionship very much. I learned so many interesting things about the American culture from her, which absolutely helps me having a smoother experience as an international student." - Student from Iran
"It has been wonderful to meet someone of a different culture and personality. It feels as if we shared more than just language and also about our lives; learning about each other's cultures, families, and histories." - English-speaking partner
Apply to be a mentor or mentee here.
The International Club, or as it is better known as "I-Club", is an undergraduate group that welcomes International and American students into the Tufts International Community. The history of the International Club is quite long history, dating back to 1955. The club offers leadership roles and responsibilities through the various sponsored activities during the year. One of the activities showcased each year is the Parade of Nations. This is an event bringing together people of all cultures to share and experience different aspects of each other's culture through the arts; music, dance performance and fashion.
The International Club is also responsible for choosing and awarding the Oliver Chapman Leadership and Community Service Award to a senior showcasing involvement in the international community. Since its inception in 1993, this award is presented to a senior at the Parade of Nations who has been active with the international community, either on the Tufts Campus or off-campus in the local community.
If you wish to become involved, connect with the 2017-2018 current officers:
- President: Nidhi Rao
- Vice President : Ansh Nemali and Raimy Shin
Executive Board Members:
- Pichayapa Limapichat
- Shana Merrifield
- Ashley Miller
- Tianyu Zhang
- Antonio Bertolino
- Thaw Htet
- Megan Kang
- Akshat Rajan
- Ciel Sriprasert
- Bhushan Suwal
- Harley (Caiyang) Xu
- Amir Rwegarulira
- Erin Berja
- Siddhant Dayal
- Ezgi Yazıcı
- Rebecka Henrickson
- Daniel Jelčić
- Keisha Mukasa
- Haruka Noishiki
- Uzair Sattar
Oliver Chapman Award
The Tufts University International Club administers The Oliver Chapman Leadership and Community Service Award. This award is unique because the achievements of a Tufts student are recognized by his/her peers. The committee who selects the recipient consists of I-Club officers and leaders from different cultural and ethnic organizations at Tufts as well as the Director of the International Center.
The award was established in the spring of 1993 in memory of Oliver Chapman. Oliver was an undergraduate student from Panama who passed away in May of 1992. Oliver had many friends within the international community, was loved by all who knew him and he was always ready to help others. Oliver's openness to other cultures allowed many people to learn from each other through their interactions with him. Oliver is also remembered by his friends as having an incredible smile!
Oliver was very well-liked by his peers. While at Tufts he had been involved with the International Orientation Program and served as an International Student Host Advisor. Oliver warmly greeted and welcomed new international and American students to Tufts. Additionally, he was an executive officer of the Latin American Society.
In considering nominees for this award, the committee is looking for a senior who has been active with the international community; on-campus, in the Greater Boston area or internationally. Ideally, the nominee should be a person who has reached out to others and who has had an impact on the lives of Tufts students or to a group or community outside of Tufts. The nominee should demonstrate a love for humanity through his/her involvement in extracurricular activities.
One previous Chapman Award recipient was given this honor based on her initiative to create a cross-cultural peer support group for Tufts students who faced cultural adjustment issues to American college life. Another recipient was one of the primary individuals who brought to the campus an awareness of the needs of Latino students at Tufts. One volunteered, working with a local immigrant population, teaching English as a Second Language. Another dedicated his time to raising awareness of, and fundraising for, financial aid to international students. In all of the above examples, the most striking characteristic of each student was their ability to give unselfishly to others while never expecting to receive any recognition for their efforts.
In considering nominees for the Oliver Chapman Leadership and Community Service Award, the committee asks you to think about the qualities described above when making your nomination. The recipient will receive an individual plaque recognizing his/her award and his/her name will be inscribed on a permanent plaque listing all previous recipients that hangs in the International Center.
- 2018 Sopuruchukwu Ezenwa
- 2017 Barry Maswan
- 2016 Shanice Kok
- 2015 Anna Zhou
- 2014 Yiqing Li
- 2013 Jameelah Morris
- 2012 Alisha Sett
- 2011 Michael Niconchuk
- 2010 Antonella Scarano
- 2009 Malek Al-Chalabi
- 2008 José Alfaro
- 2007 Sebastian Chaskel
- 2006 Mauricio Artiñano Guzmán
- 2005 Carolina Schildknecht
- 2004 Eli Levin-Goldstein
- 2003 Rodolfo Alborelli
- 2002 Gerald Sean McDermott/Carl Nee-Kofi Mould-Millman
- 2001 Shou Min Tan
- 2000 Aparna Basnyat
- 1999 Nahid Bhadelia
- 1998 Julio M. Terra
- 1997 Shalini Bhatia
- 1996 Anita Swamy
- 1995 Juan Cedeño
- 1994 Saskia Mechman
- 1993 Christine Overholt
The International House (I-House) is a small residence for 16 students from all over the world, including the United States. The I-House offers an intercultural living arrangement for both international students and Americans with the goal of creating an environment in which residents can share their cultures and celebrate their differences among friends.
The I-House hosts cultural events for the rest of the Tufts community throughout the year. Look in The Tufts Daily and the I-Center Calendar for announcements about what's happening at the I-house; such as the Fall I-BBQ, various lectures, movies and parties with international or intercultural themes.
The I-House, also known as Davies House, is located at 13 Sawyer Avenue. Sophomores, juniors and seniors are invited to apply to live in the I-House. Contact the International Center for more information about future I-House events.
Parade of Nations was founded in 1984. It is an annual spring culture show now sponsored by the International Club (I-Club). In the spring of 1993, the International Club established the Oliver Chapman Award, named in honor of Oliver Chapman, an international student from Panama who passed away in 1992. The Chapman Award is awarded annually at the Parade of Nations by the I-Club to a senior who has been active with the on-campus or local international community.
The PASSPORT Program is a volunteer program sponsored by the I-Center, Undergraduate Admissions, Alumni Relations and the Advancement Office that matches Tufts alumni, parents, faculty, and staff with incoming international students for cultural exchange, support and community building. The program has been designed to support international undergraduate students who receive financial aid. Participating students come from a variety of countries such as Kenya, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Vietnam, China, Uganda, Ecuador, and more.
PASSPORT Class of 2021
What is expected of me?
The PASSPORT Program is an informal partnership with some schedule activities and one-to-one meetings. Participation in the program is for one academic year beginning in mid-August through May. Partners are expected to contact each other to set up a meetings and engage in email, phone, and skype conversations. This is typically initiated by the mentor, but should eventually become a joint effort. The amount of time spent together is up to the mentors and students. The place(s) you meet are up to the two of you. You may find a good place on campus to talk over lunch, coffee, etc. and after a while, you may want to attend different activities together both on and off-campus.
Tufts sponsoring offices will host events for partners to attend including but not limited to a welcome reception, Thanksgiving dinner, and more.
How does it work?
The program coordinators will match prospective mentors and mentees before the beginning of the semester. The PASSPORT coordinators will introduce the partners via email. Afterwards, mentors are expected to initiate contact with the student by sending an immediate welcoming e-mail message. Mentors may want to include information about their family, interests, their neighborhood, and where they live in relation to the University. A photo is also helpful.
The role of the mentor is to help an incoming student to transition into their student life in the U.S. Students who have never been in the country before will likely need assistance with getting around Tufts and Boston; where to buy clothes and food; questions about the U.S. classroom and academics, etc. Our students will benefit from the knowledge that their mentors can offer as they try to learn things in a new environment. Hence, mentors should plan to receive their students at Logan Airport before Pre-O or Orientation week at the end of August.
Why should I become involved?
Alumni and Staff may find this as a way of giving back to the Tufts Community. You can make a difference in the life of a new Jumbo by sharing your personal experience at Tufts. You can benefit from exposure to a different culture as well.
"As an international student from Kenya, I was faced a lot of challenges transitioning to college and living in America. I remember the cultural differences, climatic challenges and food differences I experienced. I made it through all these challenges because of my mentor's support."
— David N. (Mentee; Class of 2020)
"As trivial as it may seem-my mentor was a constant breath of fresh air in an otherwise crazy time. The mentorship program provided me with an adviser, a teacher, a cheerleader, and a friend. My mentor became all the things I needed someone to be when I arrived to the U.S."
— Rabecca M. (Mentee; Class of 2020)
How can I participate?
If you are interested in becoming a mentor for one or more students, please email email@example.com with any preferences you may have (country, gender, academic interest/major) and we will do our best to match you.
The annual Thanksgiving Dinner invites international students, scholars, and faculty to join us for a traditional American thanksgiving dinner, usually held the Friday before Thanksgiving.
The evening culminates with Thanksgiving trivia, so come prepared!