Saturday, June 25, 2011

Guest Blog—Conversations with Internationals

During his first year at IOWA this past year, Luke helped organize a conversational English partner program to foster relationships with international students.  The goal was to get to know these students better by meeting with them informally, develop relationships with them, and eventually share the gospel with them as they start to understand the language more and more. 

To help others in the group, Luke came up with this list of questions to ask international students.  They might help you, too, as you attempt to minister to “the foreigner”.

These are all questions I have personally asked international students. I hope they can be of use to you.

1. Help me pronounce your name

2. Where are you from? what province/city?

3. What is it like where you are from, how is it that same or different from here?

4. What are you studying?

5. Do you like your major?

6. What is your most favorite class?

7. What is your least favorite class?

8. Have you made many friends at Iowa?

9. Why did you choose to go to school at Iowa?

10. Have you been busy lately?

11. Tell me about your family

12. Ask about siblings (Chinese students are especially fascinated with this topic)

13. Is the weather here similar to where you are from?

14. How do you like the food here (as compared to home)?

15. Bring up a current holiday, ask if they understand

16. Where do you live now?

17. Where do you want to live next year?

18. What do you like to do for fun?

19. How was your weekend?

20. What do you think of America(ns)?

21. What sort of things make you happy?

22. What are you looking forward to most?

23. Teach me to say something in Chinese (or their native language)

24. Teach me to count to ten (in their native language)

25. What does your dad do?

26. See if you have common acquaintances, locations or areas of study

27. Do you play any sports?

28. Do you like to watch any sport?

29. What will you be doing over Thanksgiving/Christmas/Spring/Summer break?

30. What did you do over Thanksgiving/Christmas/Spring/Summer break?

31. Ask to tell a story from your life

32. Ask them to tell you a story

33. Ask how they text in their native language (its really interesting)

34. Read any good books lately?

35. Explain a common idiom

36. Explain a hand gesture

37. Ask if they have a Facebook, become friends

38. Current events

39. Music

40. How many time zones away is their home country

41. If you ever have any questions on what a word in your homework means please ask me.


Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt.

Exodus 23:9

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