We, at CSI, are fortunate to have students from around the world who choose to study with us in Staten Island. However, sometimes it can be a lonely sojourn. Being far from home at a time when local families are celebrating a holiday can be difficult. A welcoming smile and a warm gesture can mean a lot at these times.

The Center for International Service is working with a volunteer from the community who is organizing a hospitality program for our students. I hope you will consider joining the program and inviting students to your home for a holiday celebration.

Applications for the 2009 Holiday Hospitality Program are now being accepted. The Holiday Hospitality Program is a volunteer-based community program designed for international students and scholars to share a meal with local families during holiday periods. Participants, on both sides, sign up for each holiday. There is no long-term commitment; participants can sign up as often or as little as they like.

I invite members of the CSI community to consider hosting an international student or scholar for this Thanksgiving. If you are interested in opening your home to at least two international students/scholars for Thanksgiving or if you would like more information, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator, Debra Santuilli-Barone at 718.982.3019, or the Center for International Service at 718.982.2100.