There is a great deal of diversity in today’s apartment communities, much like the diversity throughout our country. And when I think about diversity, I don’t think about students. But there are large cities that often have many students from various countries such as Atlanta, GA. Did you know that Atlanta has 5,500 international students from 140 nations studying at its area colleges and universities! That’s amazing! Many of these students will live in apartment housing, either student housing or regular apartment communities and even though they are living here during their studies, many never really get to meet and know Americans. However, the Atlanta Ministry with International Students (AMIS) has provided “getting to know you” opportunities to students since 1978. Through churches, civic and service organizations, corporations and individuals, the international students get to connect with Americans. “AMIS” is a French word that means “friends” and AMIS has built friendship and hospitality bridges with over 50,000 students!!
One of the programs AMIS has is the Christmas International House. International students from colleges and universities across the US come to Atlanta, and Atlanta international students go out to different cities. Families and individuals share their homes for a one or two-week period during the holidays, and everyone shares another culture, perhaps a different religious background and often different political views. Wouldn’t that be neat, to share your culture/values with a person from another country? Imagine what we’d learn?
Whether you live in an apartment, a condominium, a small house or a big house, there may be opportunities like this for you in your area. In the midst of our diversity everyone stands together as one human family. You could build a bridge!
Do you know of any similar programs in your area that you would like to share?