Shared Stories

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Recent Student Stories

“In the name of The Chinese Students & Scholars Association (CSSA) at the University of Tennessee, it is my personal pleasure to write this letter, agreed unanimously by all CSSA members, to you and your friends at HIS, showing our deep respect and sincere appreciation for your unselfish help…Thanks to your consideration, we can have special English classes for students and their families. We not only learn English but also get to know new American friends…There is no reason that we will not continue our cooperation in the future together with our friendship.”

“In 1993 when I came to American during the Somali war it was very hard for me learning new language and culture. It was not easy to be an international student and live in a new country, I didn’t like to speak in public because I thought my English was not good, but all this changed when I met you. I think it was very hard for me to adopt English and American ways, I made big mistakes…You have been with me to help me all the time. Thank you for helping me with school for all these years and for helping me with my English, with my personal problems, introducing me to people who were like me and Americans. And thank you for all those parties, who could forget them? Like the New Orleans trip which was wonderful and people were nice and Atlanta trip which I had the chance to visit museums and the Rocky Mountains.”

“I really knew I was very very lucky just after I sent an e-mail from France to DONYA BROWN and I received her answer. She told me that she would be glad to help me, to find a temporary housing, to find a car, to pick me up at the airport, to introduce me to people, to show me an English class…I am the luckiest man in the world to know this woman. She did everything she told me!”

“I enjoyed my Thanksgiving with my host family very much and your help is highly appreciated. Enjoy your holiday. And have fun with the picture attached.”

“I went to visit the American family and had a rich Thanksgiving dinner. And I learned a lot about the states and Americans. I enjoyed the experience and would never forget it. Thank you very much for your organizing the activity.”

“I spent a great day on the Pigeon River, this is my first rafting experience, it’s so fascinating that I still felt excited until I got home. I think that everyone would have a same feeling as mine, and the Pigeon River, the rafting will keep in everyone’s memory forever. Thank you again.”

“Thank you for so much help. I learned more from you the night of our first class than I learned in six months at ELI (English Language Institute). I am so happy I met you.”

– A student from China, 2006.

International Friendship Partner Stories

“Both my husband and I are called to international student ministry. It would be great if you could give us some information about what you are doing and some contacts with people involved in international student ministry in Knoxville.”

“I am glad to find you doing so well with international students. You certainly provide supports they need most during their study here…I remember you once said that the students are future leaders, as I recently found out that an alumni of UTK is now Indonesia Forest Minister, there’s also one from Nashville who became the governor of Indonesia Central Bank.”