After two months of planning and pre-launch testing, our IFU Peer Mentor Program was officially launched in June 2020, in the efforts of all IFU staff and more than 15 IFU volunteers.
The IFU Peer Mentor Program is fully funded and supported by DH International Consulting. The program is free and open to all international students. IFU Peer Mentors will be students’ best listeners and supporters for students to share their worries freely. With their own experiences and knowledge, peer mentors will guide and inspire students to solve problems through one-on-one, face to face chat, and group activities.
International students are facing a hard time in 2020. They need to navigate through COVID-19, marches, school shut down, and all kinds of uncertainties. For students who graduated in 2020, they get lost in planning their futures: Is it better to go back to their home countries to find a job? Or is it better for them to pursue master’s programs and continue their study journeys? Students are “trapped” with too many unprecedented uncertainties. The challenges faced by international students both mentally and physically need to be recognized and addressed.
IFU learned the following 4 insights from emergencies we handled recent few years, feedback gathered from various online activities, and questions submitted by parents. We realized it is imperative for us to help international students walk through difficulties, as our social mission is “to make our overseas campus life safer, to keep our parents assured”. IFU feels the urge to take action to take care of international students’ mental health.
Severe psychological stress was responsible for more than half of the international students’ missing cases.
Most international students expressed that they want supports. They feel lonely and depressed, especially during the current pandemic situation.
The majority of international students are eager to broaden their visions and get assistance in job-hunting and networking skills.
Mainstream society does not recognize nor understand the struggles that international students are facing. The IFU Peer Mentor program will try their best to help international students and show the students IFU’s responsibilities as an NGO for them.
Recruit IFU peer mentors: At the beginning of each semester, the recruiting information for peer mentors will be issued through IFU social platforms.
Mentees submit application forms: For students who want to communicate with IFU peer mentors, fill out the program application forms. The program leader will pair up mentors and mentees based on their backgrounds and inquiries.
Appointment Scheduling: Students will receive appointment scheduling links from their assigned peer mentors. Students can plan meetings and have one-on-one chats with their peer mentors according to their own schedules.
Peer mentors connect with mentees: Peer mentors and their mentees will have online/in-person 30-40 minutes’ mentoring sessions, at least twice a month. The duration of our program is one semester, and the system will be reset automatically at the end of each semester. If you enjoyed the program and would like to continue the journey, please contact your peer mentor directly by the end of the semester.
Feedback at the end of the program: At the end of each mentorship, students can submit feedback regarding their experience with the mentors.
If you’re feeling the anxieties caused by busy school and hard courses;
If you’re having a hard time in your life and feeling upset or even depressed;
If there’s anything that’s bothering you, come join us as a mentee and let us support you!
We’ll always be here to walk you through difficulties. We’ll provide a safe space and confidential peer mentoring for you to participate without privacy concerns.
IFU peer mentors are well-trained experts in various fields. As listeners, friends, and supporters, IFU peer mentors will help you say bye to the sense of confusion and hopelessness during your study abroad life.
If you are looking for people to have a chat as a mentee, or if you would like to inspire others with your own experience as a mentor, join us through the following links now!