International Student Mentoring Program

Mentoring Program participants' pumpkin carvings.

Leaving behind family and friends to come to another country is a life-changing experience. Arriving alone in a new place can also be very challenging. The International Student Mentoring Program assists international students in overcoming these challenges.

About the Program

A joint initiative of ISS and UB’s Counseling Services, the ISMP provides social support for newly arrived international students and reduces their isolation. It also provides an avenue for international students to socialize with individuals outside their cultural group and to learn from students who have experience adapting to the U.S. and UB.

Are You Interested in Becoming a Cultural Partner?

The primary goals of the International Student Mentoring Program (ISMP) are to help internationalize the UB campus, foster a global mindset in U.S. students and staff through meaningful interaction and shared experiences with international students, and reduce the isolation of newly arrived international students. To achieve these goals, we need dedicated UB students and staff to serve as Cultural Partners for newly arrived international students. We are looking for people who:

  • Have an interest in learning about other cultures
  • Have a strong desire to help others
  • Are interested in showing people around UB and Buffalo
  • Are interested in sharing U.S. culture
  • Are undergraduates (junior or senior year), graduate students, UB staff members, or retired UB staff members.

If you meet the qualifications above, please complete the application below. If you are chosen to participate, you will be informed via email 2-4 weeks prior to the start of the Fall or Spring semester. Additional program details are below:

  • Cultural Partners are paired with two newly arrived international students.
  • All participants must attend a half-day training program held on a Saturday morning. (More information will be provided if you are chosen to participate.)
  • Cultural Partner groups are asked to meet once every two weeks for a minimum of one hour. The commitment is for one semester.
  • Two optional group activities are planned.
  • An end of the semester party brings everyone together to celebrate their experience, receive certificates and give feedback on the program.

If you have any questions about the program or the application, please contact Caitlin Rioux ( in the International Student Services Office.