International Newcomer Mentoring Program

participants of the pilot year of the International Newcomer Matching ProgramNew international faculty, staff, post-docs, and academic specialists are invited to participate in the MSU WorkLife Office International Newcomer Matching Program.

Participants may be single, married, or have children. The goal is for the local volunteer family to assist the international newcomer and/or family settle into our community. The expectation is that the local family will meet the newcomer and/or family at least once for dinner out or host them and have contact at least once a month or as needed to provide information on MSU, the local community, things to do, etc. There will also be an orientation for the newcomers and the volunteer families.

Program Description

The International Newcomer Matching Program can help the transition for MSU faculty, staff, post-docs, and academic specialists when moving to the community from a different country. Volunteers from the MSU community will be matched with a newcomer to help the new family ease into their new life within the surrounding community.  Both volunteers and participants must apply and will be matched by the WorkLife Office based on common interests, similar faiths, similar neighborhoods or other commonalities based on application. Orientation to the program will be provided before mentoring takes place.

Ready to Match?

Contact the WorkLife Office if you have any questions. We are very excited to provide this program in order to ease transitions for our new faculty and academic specialists. If interested, please forward the contact information of an international newcomer to worklife@msu.edu and we will reach out to them regarding the application and further information.

Universal Expectations

  • Respect all persons without regard to race, color, national origin, ethnicity, sex, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, age, political opinion, immigration status, or disability.
  • Seek appropriate guidance and direction when faced with ethical dilemmas.
  • Respect each other’s right to privacy. Openly express information candidly (e.g. dietary restrictions, smoking or non-smoking, time available, etc.).
  • Provide feedback about the program to the WorkLife Office.
  • Participants are required by law to report any mention of suspicion of child abuse, neglect, or anything else that leads them to be concerned about a child’s welfare. Participant should direct these suspicions to the WorkLife Office.
  • Participant should be familiar with the sexual assault and relationship violence policy.
  • Participant should direct any suspicion to the WorkLife Office.

Volunteer Expectations

  • Volunteer must know the community well enough to give information and support.
  • Communicate any issues or concerns which are likely to affect your volunteer duties.
  • Volunteer cannot help with financial, immigration, academic, employment, health, or significant adjustment issues. If you need assistance with these concerns, contact the WorkLife Office.

Volunteer Job Description

  • Volunteer will report to the WorkLife Office Volunteer should expect to participate for the first semester after the newcomer has arrived.
  • Volunteer may exceed the first semester if mutually agreed with the participant.
  • Volunteers must reach out and contact newcomer.
  • Volunteer should contact newcomer by phone, email, or face-to-face meetings.
  • Preferences should be mentioned to newcomer.
  • Volunteer will answer questions to the best of their ability and seek guidance when a question is unknown Volunteer should learn about participant’s hobbies, interests, etc.
  • Volunteer should host at least one meal with participant (in home, at restaurant, etc.)
  • Volunteer should inform participant of community events going on in surrounding area.

Read about the pilot year of the program.


Listen to our podcast with Joy Shantz from the Office for International Students and Scholars!

Thank you so much for helping to make MSU an even greater place to work!

Annual Football Game

Thank you to Lisa Parker and the MSU Alumni Office for hosting international post-docs in the alumni suite!

Left to Right: Aaron Reifler, Trine Andersen, Wajid Waheed BhatAnne-Sophie Bohrer, Paoline Prevost, and Lisa Parker