Whether you are a foreign student seeking friendship or an American student wishing to become acquainted with students from abroad, the International Friendship Group at Harvard offers you the opportunity to meet and do things together.
The Group consists primarily of foreign students from all over the world. Some have arrived only recently in the United States, while others have lived here as long as seven years. Although the Group is made up of mainly foreign undergraduate and graduate students from Harvard, it is open to foreign students from the greater Boston area in the summer.
The Group plans varied activities, including tea and discussions, and outings. This summer, it already has gone on an evening cruise of Boston harbor, as well as visiting Cape Ann and Cape Cod. At both capes, the Group went sightseeing, swimming and picnicking during the day. Its members stayed overnight at the homes of prearranged host families. In the future, the Group plans a back pack excursion.
Although the foreign students are affiliated with the Harvard-Radcliffe Christian Fellowship, a non-denominational group, its membership is not limited to Christians. "Our members have a diverse religious background," Michael Quah '74, a spokesman for the group, said yesterday. Quah explained that the Group does not seek religious converts, but performs a function not filled by Harvard.
"The Group came into existence about a year ago because there was virtually no organization at Harvard which initiated social activities for foreign students," Quah said.
He explained that a center for foreign students, the International Student Association, did exist two years ago, but closed after local colleges stopped supporting it. With its closing, there was a marked "need for a place for foreign students to get together and do things," Quah said.
To fill the gap, two Radcliffe students, Victoria Glyn '73 and Marti Li '75, founded the Group. Unlike the former foreign student organization, the new group has neither a building or office of its own, nor is it dependent upon any outside financial aid to support itself. The members pay all expenses.