If you are interested in participating in the international community at OU and in Norman, there are many opportunities for you! OU has dozens of organizations that are designed just for international students including partnering programs and student organizations that help students share their culture with the OU student body. If you just need a touch from your own culture or you want to learn more about the American culture, you can find something here at OU.
Events and Cultural Opportunities for International Students
The International Programming team offers many events and cultural activities to support OU’s international student population as well as facilitate cross-cultural exchange on campus. From providing orientation to our students during their first semester of study, providing a forum to improve their English speaking ability, providing excursions to experience quintessentially Oklahoman and/or American cultural elements, to educating Americans about their own culture through the ISSB program, the David L. Boren College of International Studies is dedicated to providing internationals rewarding and substantive programming while they attend OU.
International Student Speakers Bureau
The International Student Speakers Bureau (ISSB) is a program through which international students volunteer to speak and share about their home countries. The goal of the program is to promote global awareness among local schools and area community groups. Many people only know about other countries through newspapers or news programs, and those views do not always represent the larger issues or the common viewpoint. The ISSB gives ordinary citizens, like the students, a voice by allowing them an opportunity to express how they feel about history, current events, international affairs, cultural norms and values, and even literature and art. This program also personalizes information for the Oklahomans who are listening. They learn that even though someone may observe different religious practices or speak a different language, they can still have many of the same interests and concerns. Whatever the similarities or differences, the International Student Speakers Bureau brings international students and Oklahomans together to explore each other’s culture.
ISSB currently has speakers from: Afghanistan, Boshia and Herzegonia, Cameroon, China, Colombia, Egypt, France, India, Israel, Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Morocco, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Taiwan, Turkey, Uganda, Venezuela, and Vietnam.
Friends to International Students
Friends to International Students (FIS) pairs international students with Norman families to give students the opportunity to get to know Norman and the surrounding area and to enrich the life of the community by fostering mutual understanding and appreciation of people from other nations.
SGA Greek International Exchange Program
The Student Government Association's Greek International Exchange Program seeks to foster an environment of mutual cultural exchange between international students and the University of Oklahoma's Greek community. All Greek organizations and international students will have the option of applying to participate in the program. Upon their acceptance, students and organizations will be paired in order to best suit the interests and needs of each party. Organizations will be required to maintain a relationship with their paired international students by including them in certain events and activities, which are specified in the application process. International students will be expected to remain involved with their host organizations by participating in the opportunities offered. An open attitude of cultural acceptance and exchange will be maintained at all times by all involved students and organizations.
For more information about this program, email International Programming at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Through OU Cousins, students are matched according to hobbies, majors, and countries of special interest. Each international or exchange student is matched with one or two American students and invited to participate in monthly programs that are free of charge. In addition, students are encouraged to get together outside of official Cousins events and share their respective cultures with one another through normal daily life.
International Student Organizations
There are approximately 30 international student organizations (ISO) at OU offering social and cultural activities throughout the year. The majority of OU's ISOs host a cultural night every year to help promote awareness of their own culture in the surrounding community. ISOs also host other events for their members throughout the year. Each year concludes with IAC's Eve of Nations, a campus wide dance competion where ISOs compete to win the best cultural display for OU. Eve of Nations is Oklahoma's largest cultural night and typically hosts around 2000 attendees.
International Advisory Committee (IAC) is an executive student body representing international students and coordinating international student organizations on campus. To learn more out this international umbrella organization, visit iac.ou.edu.
OU International Student Organizations:
- African Student Association
- Arab Student Association
- Association of Friends of Venezuela
- Bolivian International Student Association
- Colombian Student Association
- French and Francophone Student Association
- India Student Association
- Iranian Student Association
- Japanese Student Association
- Korean Student Association
- Lebanese Student Association
- Nepali Student Association
- Pan American Student Association
- Peruvian Student Association
- Russian Speaking Student Association
- Saudi Student Association
- Society of Chinese Students and Scholars
- Society of Vietnamese Students
- Sri Lankan Student Association
- Taiwanese Student Association
- The United World
- Turkish Student Association
- Vietnamese Student Association
For a complete list if active student organizations or to find how to contact their current president, click here to go to Student Life's list of active student organizations or e-mail the Office of International Programming at email@example.com or the president of IAC at firstname.lastname@example.org.