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International Student Programs

Genuine relationships with community members are critical to international students’ success and are always highlighted when students talk about what makes Gordon unique. That is why the International Student Office provides various communal programs to enrich the international student experience. Whether you are an F-1 Visa student, a missionary kid, or a third-culture kid, we hope these programs help you feel at home and enhance your overall Gordon experience. At Gordon, we understand the challenges and adjustments unique to international and third-culture students, so we strive to support and guide our students to help enable their success.

Wellness Program

Our Wellness Program supports the emotional health and well-being of international students. Mental health struggles can be stigmatized around the world, and there are many common myths that keep people from seeking support for emotional and other stress-related problems. Knowing this, the Wellness Program provides an intentional space for students of multicultural and international backgrounds to learn wellness tools, healthy coping skills, and generally aims to help navigate cultural challenges faced in college.

Koinonia Mentorship Program

The Koinonia Mentorship Program is designed to connect first-year international students with upper-level students for lasting friendships and connections. The program gets its name from the Greek word Koinonia, which means ‘communion,’ ‘joint participation,’ the ‘share’ or ‘portion’ which one has in anything. In essence, it means community, and that is what this program fosters—a welcoming and genuine community for new students.  

Attending college can be stressful, and flying to an unfamiliar country can be even more stressful. To help students feel welcome and supported in the Gordon community, we pair them with current students as mentors to ease their transition. The mentors will provide insights into American culture and Gordon culture, offering students encouragement and support. In addition to being hospitable members of the Gordon community, mentors have the opportunity to experience the rich cultural diversity our new students bring from around the world.

We hope the Koinonia Mentorship Program blesses both the mentee and mentor. For more information on how to get involved, email  or call the International Student Office at 978.867.4304.

Holiday Host Program 

The Holiday Host Program connects local members of the Gordon community to international students during our Thanksgiving and Christmas school breaks. Students are encouraged to experience life off-campus during the holidays with good people, eating good food and enjoying good fellowship with community members. 

The Holiday Host Program is an excellent opportunity to share traditions and customs/culture and to develop edifying friendships. 

To participate, community members must complete the appropriate profile below and will be matched accordingly. All members, including faculty, staff, and students, are invited to participate. Non-employees (churches, alumni, and friends of the college) are welcome to participate with a reference from an employee of Gordon College.

How do I get involved?

Host form ➔
Student form ➔

Once you complete your form, the International Student Office will pair hosts with students. We encourage at least two students per host because most students enjoy having that company and companionship. 

Guidelines and expectations for hosts and students

  • Hosts and students may have occasional meals and activities together. They do not need to be costly.
  • Hosts are expected to stay in touch with students throughout the year. The amount of time spent together is up to the hosts and students.
  • Hosts may offer words of encouragement and acts of care to students.
  • Hosts may support students in practical needs like making runs to the supermarket or mall and rides to the airport or church.
  • Hosts are under no obligation to provide financial assistance such as loans to students. Hosts are not expected to pay for students during outings or events.
  • Hosts and students can share holiday celebrations and traditions.
  • Hosts and students can plan and schedule tours, recreational activities, games, and other activities such as museum visits, local attractions, sporting events, international nights, etc.
  • Students may invite hosts to attend campus events, athletic games, class presentations, etc.
  • Hosts are invited to the annual International Student Chapel in the Fall.

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