International Student and Scholar Services


Cultural Resources

Cultural Sharing

The aim is for international students to learn about American culture at the same time that other St. Cloud State University students learn about each international student's culture.

We do that by participating in our cultural and language organizations, sharing how we work, how we think, how we celebrate and how we link to the world around us.

As St. Cloud State University students learn more about the countries and cultures that surround them, we all learn how to better serve our global society.

Several programs and organizations on campus promote cultural sharing.

Classroom Visit Program

The Classroom Visit Program is an opportunity for international students to make presentations about their culture and country to elementary, secondary and adult classrooms.

More than 1,300 international students at St. Cloud State University represent about 90 countries.

Teachers/Leaders who are motivated to create an intercultural classroom environment apply to participate in the Classroom Visit Program for one academic year, integrating international speakers into their curriculum. 

Social studies, world geography, foreign languages, literature, history and science classrooms benefit from the world of perspectives offered by Classroom Visit speakers.

Speakers may also be requested by university faculty and community organizations.


  • Classroom students

    • Learn firsthand about other countries and cultures.
    • Increase intercultural communication skills through the interaction with international students and scholars.
    • Have an opportunity to ask questions about current issues and daily life.
    • Learn multiple perspectives.
    • Discover their connections to the rest of the world.
    • Understand similarities and differences between cultures.
    • Become more aware of their own culture.
  • International speakers

    • Offer firsthand information about their countries and cultures not found in textbooks or U.S. media.
    • Compare and discuss aspects of U.S. culture with that of their own.
    • Improve their communication, teaching and public speaking skills.
    • Motivate students to learn more about specific countries and global issues.
    • Instill confidence and pride in children from cultures other than the U.S. majority culture.
    • Acquire credit toward their Academic & Cultural Sharing Scholarship.
    • Gain the opportunity to learn how K-12 classrooms, senior care facilities and mentorship programs function in the U.S.
  • Teachers/organization leaders

    • Complement their curriculum with international perspectives.
    • Internationalize their classroom environment.
    • Meet international students from around the world.
    • Help students and self gain a better understanding of multiple perspectives and celebrate diversity.
    • Grow in their understanding of different countries and cultures.

Request a speaker

Complete a CVP request. International students are then contacted by the Center for International Studies regarding speaking opportunities.

Schools/organizations that can provide transportation may get more replies, as many international students do not have vehicles.

Contact us at

Cultural Nights

2018-2019 Schedule

Name of Event Stu. Org Venue Time Date
China Night CSSA Ballroom/Glacier 5:30-9:30 p.m. 9/15/2018
Sri lanka Night ASLO Ritsche/Ballroom  5:30-9:30 p.m. 9/29/2018
Pakistan Night PSA Ballroom 5:30-9 p.m. 10/6/2018
Darshain and Tihar Night HNI Ritsche/Ballroom  5:30-9:30 p.m. 10/27/2018
Korean Night KSA Ballroom 8:00 am - 11:00 pm 11/3/2018
Bangladesh Night BSA Ballroom 5-9 p.m. 11/10/2018
Indian Night IHA Ballroom 5 p.m.- 12 a.m. 11/17/2018
African Night ASA All Rooms 6- 11:45 p.m. 12/1/2018
Karen Night KSUA Ballroom 1:30-11:45 p.m. 12/8/2018
Vietnamese Night VSA Ballroom/Glacier 5-9 p.m. 2/2/2019
Viva Oromo OSO Ballroom + 2-11:30 p.m. 2/9/2019
Ebony Night CAAS Ballroom 6-11:45 p.m. 2/16/2019
Somali Night SSA Ballroom / Glacier/Voyagers + 7-10:30 p.m. 3/16/2019
Malaysian Night MSA Ballroom / Glacier 3:30- 10 p.m. 3/23/2019
Nepal Night NSA Ritsche/Ballroom  5-7 p.m. 3/30/2019
Japan Night JP Ballroom  5-9 p.m. 4/6/2019
Hmong Night HSO Ballroom/Glacier 5 p.m.- 12 a.m. 4/13/2019
Nigerian Night NSO Ritsche/Ballroom  5 p.m.- 12 a.m. 4/20/2019

International Friendship Program

The International Friendship Program allows international students and visiting scholars the opportunity to be paired with local community members/families, St. Cloud State University students or faculty/staff.

Applicants may decide to participate for a one-time event, semester, year or on a continuous basis.

Participants are paired to form a “friendship family” that provides international students and visiting scholars an introduction to life in the U.S. while they, in turn, help their American host learn about other cultures.

As part of a “friendship family” you commit to participate in at least one face-to-face activity with a willingness to share your culture.

Participants are not expected to serve as a host family as this program does not involve/require a home stay.

This activity counts toward the Academic and Cultural Sharing Scholarship if students participate in at least one face-to-face activity.

Examples include:

  • Sharing a meal.
  • Playing board games.
  • Attending sporting events.
  • Attending an event together (religious, family tradition, celebration of milestones — birthday, wedding, retirement, baby shower).

The Center for International Studies reviews all applications and matches participants based on similar hobbies, special interests. We also remain in contact with participants to ensure a proper match.

Complete the appropriate application form and drop it at the Center for International Studies, Lawrence Hall 101, or email it.

International Education Week

International Education Week is an annual initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to promote international education and exchange.

The Center for International Studies collaborates with several departments to schedule events, sessions and activities to highlight St. Cloud State’s support of international education.

Typically, it includes the International Student Association's annual Passport to the World celebration.

International Peer Advisors

International peer advisors help the Center for International Studies welcome new international students. It is a volunteer program that offers global connections through student diplomacy.

Volunteer responsibilities

  • Your duties include greeting new international students, welcoming them to campus, serving as a leader and mentor to small groups and attending orientation activities sponsored by the Center for International Studies.
  • You are encouraged to act as a cross-cultural liaison to student life.
  • You are an important link between the international student, Center for International Studies, St. Cloud State University and the St. Cloud community.


  • Friends from other countries.
  • Leadership, volunteer and cross-cultural experience for your resumeé.
  • A cool t-shirt to add to your collection (all-day orientation volunteers only).
  • The eternal gratitude of Center for International Studies (we’re willing to write great reference letters).
  • Move in to residence halls early. If you need this, you must let Center for International Studies know on your application.

General expectations 

  • Attend mandatory IPA sign-up session and mandatory IPA training. (2017 dates to be announced.)
  • Genuine interest in learning about other cultures and assisting international peers.
  • Availability throughout the week of International Student Orientation (2017 dates to be announced.)

Passport to the World

The International Student Association hosts Passport to the World and has been identified as an event that unifies the diverse St. Cloud and St. Cloud State University communities.

Each participating country or cultural group sets up a booth that includes cultural decorations, a display of cultural artifacts, games etc.

The aim is to portray how culture, attire and arts differ in each country.

Participating student organizations and countries can promote and share their culture in a unique way and raise funds. Some of the fund-raising ideas include Henna tattoo, face paint, braiding and games.

Visitors mostly include children and their families, international and national students, faculty members and others.

Each visitor receives a passport to get visa stamp from each booth they visit, which they can take home as a souvenir from Passport to the World.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact at

Thanksgiving Program

Thanksgiving is a unique secular holiday in the United States that dates to early North American history. It celebrates the fall harvest and is a time to give thanks.

Families may celebrate in a number of ways, but, as with many holidays, food is much of the focus.

St. Cloud State University's Thanksgiving Program pairs students and visiting scholars with local families or groups for the holiday, allowing everyone to learn more about other cultures and communities.

International students/visiting scholars

In celebrating Thanksgiving with a local community member/family or St. Cloud State University faculty/staff member, you will likely enjoy many delicious foods. Turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberries, stuffing and pumpkin pie are traditional favorites.

Students and scholars will be matched according to their preferences and notified by email.

Contact the Center for International Studies, Lawrence Hall 101.

Community members, families and university faculty and staff

Consider this an opportunity to share your Thanksgiving traditions internationally and to learn about others' traditions.

More than 1,200 international students/scholars come to St. Cloud State University from more than 90 countries. National statistics suggest that only 25 percent will ever be in an American home.

You can change that statistic. 

Whatever your Thanksgiving tradition, sharing the day helps international students and scholars understand how Americans give thanks on this traditional cultural holiday and allows you meet new people and learn new things.

No special arrangements are required. Set a few extra places at the table and invite students and scholars to help prepare the food, participate in your family’s traditions and get to know the meaning behind this unique North American holiday.

You will be contacted regarding placement. Hosts are also asked to provide transportation when possible. 

Contact the Center for International Studies, Lawrence Hall 101.

Student organizations and campus involvement