By Brian (Seungjae) Yoo
I joined AMIS’s Amigo program because I liked its mission to welcome international students and help them feel safe and comfortable living in the US. As I was also an international student before I gained my citizenship three years ago, I know very well how many international students feel about their schools, their relationships with other friends, being away from their families, etc. I understand because I was in their shoes. So, leveraging my personal experiences, I wanted to add value to other international students.
My experience as an Amigo Volunteer has been great. I really like my Amigo international student, Tuan - he is smart, caring, and fun to hang out with. After a few virtual calls, we finally met for the first time in person to watch the Super Bowl together with a few of my other friends. Since then, we’ve tried food from around the world, discussing everything from career goals to business planis to celebrating his internship.
Through the Amigo program, I learned that as long as I reach out to the world, there are always opportunities to add value. During the pandemic, I mostly stayed at home while avoiding much contact. However, as I was paired with a student through the Amigo program, I made a new friend whom I can help. Tuan's two big reasons for joining the program are; speaking English more frequently and making more American friends. By being friends, talking with him, and offering him opportunities to hang out with my other American friends, I am grateful that I can help. Now, Tuan has become a friend to me whom I seem to have met somewhere naturally rather than through an intentional pairing, and the relationship is mutually beneficial. We learn from each other. Also, being an Amigo volunteer makes me continue to think about how to be a better person and set a good example. For us to continue to grow and see each other grow, I would like to be a good example myself.
I look forward to continuing to work with the AMIS team.
Learn more about being an Amigo Volunteer and sign up here.