The Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS) will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a series of events Oct. 1-4.
This independent foundation based at the University of Washington was established to enhance international understanding and to promote cultural exchange between UW international students and Americans. It also serves as a clearinghouse for information about international students.
The foundation’s oldest and most famous program is Welcome Week Hosting, in which new international students are matched with volunteer local families, who offer to host a student in their homes as the student starts to become oriented to life in the U.S. and Seattle. Many of these homestays develop into long-term friendships.
The foundation also matches international students and scholars with volunteer hosts for recreational and social activities. Another regular program, held throughout the academic year, is a Wednesday lunch, which promotes interactions among international students on campus and between international students, local students and community members. The foundation also helps connect international students with local K-12 school children through specific programming and through its speakers bureau.
The University District Rotary Club will have a special luncheon honoring the foundation Oct. 2 at the Meany Hotel Ballroom. Keynote speaker will be David Aikman, former Time magazine reporter and author, talking about his recent visit to China. Other anniversary events include roundtable discussions, campus tours, a Japanese-speaking alumni dinner and a ceremonial tree planting on campus.