International students will often be looking for opportunities to engage in cultural and sporting activities and these are a great way to provide contexts for local students and other volunteers to meet international students and build friendships with them. Find out if the university does something similar and, if so, either join in with what is already happening or ensure your activity does not ‘compete”!
A Christian international student in Prague loved hiking and organised a 20km hike in the Czech countryside. 14 students joined him and they had some brilliant conversations along the way
Informal football or volleyball games and table tennis competitions can draw in international students who want to play sport. Some may also appreciate the opportunity to go to a “big match” in a national football league or other sport. Best to discuss some of these ideas with students you know to gauge the level of interest before embarking on anything that will involve significant expenditure.
Hikes can be one of the best contexts for developing friendships and having significant conversations. They also enable international students to see parts of the local countryside (or coastline) they might not do otherwise. If transport is needed then this is a great way to involve volunteers as drivers who may then be drawn into meaningful relationships with the students they take.
Trips to places of cultural/historical interest
Do you have volunteers who know their local/national history and can explain it clearly? Use them to help you organise a trip of cultural interest eg castles, cathedrals, museums, national gardens etc.