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About AMIS Atlanta

Photo May 13 2023, 7 42 16 PM.jpg

Since 1978, AMIS Atlanta has been welcoming international students and scholars to the Atlanta area through our many programs and events which help them get to know our city and connect them to local families and individuals who want to serve and make international friends.

Our international students come from over 50 different nations and are students at Georgia Tech, Georgia State, Emory, Columbia Theological Seminary, Agnes Scott, Kennesaw State, Morehouse College, Oglethorpe University, Atlanta Technical College, Chattahoochee Technical College and Georgia Southwestern University.

We invite you to get involved in this grassroots effort to promote cultural understanding and global peace one friendship at a time.

"For me, AMIS is a great learning experience to bring [everyone] together"

-Veronica, Chattahoochee Tech graduate from Brazil


Our Mission

Atlanta Ministry with International Students (AMIS Atlanta)  promotes cultural and global understanding through friendship and hospitality with international students and scholars in the greater Atlanta area.

Our Vision

AMIS Atlanta strives for a more peaceful, welcoming, and connected world through international friendship.

Our Values

AMIS Atlanta is a faith-based organization that respects the faiths and cultural traditions of all who participate with us. 

 Our purpose is to "welcome the stranger", and we do not include religious messaging promoting a particular faith as part of our programs.  We expect volunteers to follow our non-proselytizing policy. 

As members of NAFSA (National Association of International Educators), we are guided by and adhere to NAFSA's Statement of Ethical Principles.

Our Values
Our Mission

Why AMIS Atlanta

Each year over 16,000 international students and scholars representing 160 nations come to study in 19 greater Atlanta area colleges and universities. These students are the best and brightest of their home countries and the future leaders of the world. Coming to a foreign country as an international student can be a lonely and intimidating experience.  Many are wondering whether they will be welcomed in the US and make American friends.  Help us to ensure that each international student coming to Atlanta feels welcome, gets invited to a local American home, and makes a life-changing friendship.


History of AMIS

AMIS Atlanta began in 1978 when our founder, Rev. Dr. Fahed Abu-Akel organized a movement of Atlanta area churches of several denominations to come together as a ministry of friendship and hospitality to welcome and support the growing numbers of international students arriving in the metro Atlanta area.  Having come to the US as an international student from Palestine, Dr. Abu-Akel had a vision that every international student would be welcomed and make an American friend through AMIS Atlanta.  Now in its 44th year, AMIS Atlanta holds an Annual Welcome Reception for international students, which in the past was held in Atlanta Symphony Hall and featured the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra.  Over the years, AMIS Atlanta has welcomed tens of thousands of international students to Atlanta.

Today, AMIS Atlanta works with many community organizations, including churches, Kiwanis Clubs, colleges and universities, foundations, volunteers and donors to offer friendship and hospitality to international students and scholars in the greater Atlanta area. 

Walk together, talk together, all you nations in the world. Only then shall we have Peace. 

-Ancient Sanskrit proverb, AMIS Atlanta's Motto

Interested in learning more about AMIS's history? Listen to an interview of Rev. Dr. Fahed Abu-Akel by our current AMIS Executive Director, Rev. Irene Wong. Recorded in 2023, they discuss Dr. Abu-Akel's life as a Palestinian Christian who came to America in 1966 and went on to start the Atlanta Ministry with International Students in Atlanta in the late 1970s. You can listen to this interview by clicking the audio player below.

Irene Wong Interview's AMIS Atlanta's Founder, Rev. Dr. Fahed Abu-AkelAMIS Atlanta
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