International Mentoring Program at UVM
Staff and Faculty sought for Mentorship Opportunities
- By Evan Mills
The International Mentoring Program at UVM was created to help ease international students’ adjustment to life on campus and to the United States. Faculty and Staff Mentors have a unique opportunity to share their culture while learning about the home culture of an international student mentee. By providing support, advice, and sometimes just listening, mentors can play a tremendous role in helping students acculturate to the US and plant roots in Burlington.
Though the program places particular emphasis on the first months of the semester, our hope is that mentors maintain contact with students throughout the academic year.
Mentors may be expected to:
- Participate in a reception at which you will meet your mentee
- Make frequent contact with your mentee – especially if it is their first semester at UVM. That means:
- Face-to-face meetings every 2-3 weeks in the first months (ex: chat over coffee)
- Weekly check-in emails to see how things are going and offer support
- Occasional off-campus experiences (ex: ice cream downtown, a trip to the movies, a visit to the Echo Center, or a meal in your home)
- Introduce your mentee to departmental, campus and community resources as needed.
- Communicate with the Office of International Education or other campus support services as needed – a mentor may be the first person to hear a student is struggling academically or having a difficult time acclimating to UVM. You aren’t expected to solve these problems for students, but to help connect students with the appropriate resources on campus.
What other mentors are saying:
“Personally, I have developed a meaningful relationship with a young person who is now part of my family. Professionally, I have a window into the [international student] experience and the possible support services UVM can provide to strengthen this program. I feel fortunate to be part of the program.”
-- Ellen McShane, Academic Support Programs
"I love answering questions, helping with language and sharing food, games, traditions and ideas about school, traditions, studies, social life... everything! A mentor can help [international] students feel more at home at UVM and in Vermont. A student can help a mentor feel connected to the world! It is a wonderful exchange that grows into a special friendship."
-- Jennifer Francoeur, University Communications
To sign up as a mentor, please complete a mentor application form, available here:
We will do our best to pair students and mentors according to mutual application preferences.
For any questions about the Office of International Education - International Student Mentoring Program, or to return your completed application, please contact Evan Mills at Evan.Mills@uvm.edu
Thank you for supporting international efforts at the University of Vermont!