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Program Connects DePauw's International Students with Local Families

September 7, 2009

_MG_0054.jpgSeptember 7, 2009, Greencastle, Ind. — DePauw University's Hoosier Hospitality program, which links international students with Greencastle families, "is a way to link international students and community members to share cultures and form relationships," says Rajai Bimbo, assistant director of the Center for International and Experiential Education. "Students and families meet on their own a few times each semester for dinners, social gatherings and community events."

In Greencastle's Banner-Graphic, Jamie Barrand writes, "Teresa Batto first met Michelle Wong, [then] a DePauw freshman from China, when they were matched with her through HHP in 2007. The Battos were Wong's host family again in 2008. 'Now she's doing an internship in New York, and after that she'll be going to France,' Batto said. 'We'll probably have her again when she comes back her senior year.' Since Wong is unable to go home for many occasions, such as Christmases and Easters, she has spent those holidays with the Battos for the past couple of years. She was also with them over this past summer."

_MG_0017.jpgBatto, the wife of DePauw professor of religious studies Bernard Batto, tells the newspaper, "We've really gotten very close. She and our family just kind of clicked. The great thing about the (Hoosier Hospitality) program is, you don't have to do that much together, but if it works and you end up doing it, that's great."

A total of 187 international students are currently enrolled at DePauw, including a record 81 first-year students.

Read the complete story at the Banner-Graphic's Web site, and learn more about the Hoosier Hospitality program by calling (765) 658-4058.

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