You are here

International Student & Scholar Programs

Getting Involved in the CU Boulder Community

International Student and Scholar Programs (ISSP) organizes and supports programming and special events for international students, scholars, and their families.  The University of Colorado Boulder also has many student clubs that include varying interests.

For more and updated information about programs and events, check out the Calendar or ISSP Facebook page.

There are numerous clubs to join and activities for international students. Some clubs are based on nationality or culture; others a mix of students from all over the world. For a more complete list of CU student Clubs and Organizations, please see the CU Student Group Directory. Current members will be happy to share information about their group, so feel free to contact them directly. Of special interest might be the following:  The Chinese Student and Scholar Association; The Indian Student Association; The Saudi Student Association; and The Korean Graduate Student Association.

We are housed in the Cultural Unity & Engagement Center (CUE Center), in the Center for Community room N320.

Sponsored Programs

Boulder Friends of International Students

Some of your most rewarding experiences will be the ones outside the classroom or campus environment, when you become friends with local people and learn about American customs, lifestyle, and traditions. Boulder Friends of International Students (BFIS) provides this opportunity.

BFIS is a friendship organization of volunteers in the Boulder community. Members help students settle into life in Boulder, and hope to build friendships and share cultural insights with their international student. You will not live with your host, but you may get together from time to time for various activities, like meeting for coffee or a meal, hiking, attending a sporting or cultural event, sharing holidays, or conversation. Participation is voluntary, but if you do ask to be matched with a host, we expect you to see your friend at least once a month.

To be matched with a BFIS host, please complete and return the BFIS application form. There is no fee to be matched. After you have been assigned a suitable host, you will receive an email with information about your friend. BFIS will try to match you before you leave your home country, but you may not be matched until you arrive. If you have not received a letter with information about your host before you leave home (or if you decide at the last minute you would like to have a host), please tell an advisor when you check-in.

For more information visit the BFIS website or stop by the ISSP office.


CU-International is a group of student volunteers who plan and lead activities for international students, scholars, and faculty. They also provide support and service to international students experiencing sudden and unusual difficulties. Members are both international and American students. New students meet CU International members for the first time during check-in at ISSS. They are friendly students who answer questions, organize campus tours, and plan dinners and other events where students can meet each other.

Both of the following activities, organized by CU International, are excellent ways to meet people and to get additional conversational practice:

  • International Coffee Hour: On Friday afternoons during the Fall and Spring semesters, all CU students, faculty, and staff are invited to an informal gathering at the University Memorial Center (UMC), UMC Grill, 4 - 5:30 p.m. Here's a promotional video for International Coffee Hour.
  • CU International’s "CUWednesday" is a weekly gathering at different local restaurants. Check the CU International website for the latest details.

For more information visit the CU-International website.

International Festival

The International Festival is a celebration of the many cultures and countries represented on the CU-Boulder campus. It is held on a Saturday in the spring semester; international students showcase their country and culture through displays, performances, and samples of food. The Festival is very popular with over 4,000 people attending.  The Festival is organized by a committee of international students with the guidance of an ISSS staff member. The International Festival Committee (IFC) meets for most of the fall and spring semesters to organize the event. All CU students are welcome to join the IFC. 

For more information click here. 

International Student Guide Program

This is your chance to have a CU student help guide you in the first weeks that you are here. The International Student Guides (ISG) help you with questions before you arrive and with your initial cultural and academic adjustments. Click here for more information.

The ISG program is open to undergraduate and graduate students during their first semester at CU. Participating is entirely optional! To apply for a guide, please review the Incoming ISG Program Application.


ISSP Staff

Program Coordinators

Becky SibleyBecky Sibley has extensive experience working in International Education, including study abroad and exchange program management, orientation, and international student and scholar advising and programming. She works with CU staff and students on improving intercultural communication. Her BA is in Psychology and Spanish and her Master's degree is in Social Foundations of Multicultural Education, both from the University of Colorado. She earned a certificate in Estudios HIspanicos (University of Madrid), and participated in short-term international education seminars in Mexico and Germany. She earned certification to each ESL and Spanish in Colorado and was a participant
in the Fulbright U.S. - Korea International Education Administrator's Program.
She is a global nomad, having been raised in Venezuela, California, Iran,
Lebanon and Spain, before settling in Colorado. 

Sam CosgroveSam Cosgrove is originally from Columbus, OH getting his Bachelor's Degree in Finance from Miami University. He went on to receive his Master's in Higher Education Administration from University of Kansas, during which time he realized he was passionate about interacting with people from different cultures. He spent 2 1/2 years teaching ESL in Istanbul, Turkey, where he also had the opportunity to travel and learn Turkish. Most recently Sam worked as the International Student Services Coordinator at Lewis-Clark State College. In addition to being interested in making international students' experiences as positive as possible at University of Colorado, Sam enjoys outdoor adventures. Sam has ridden his bicycle across the United States, and completed the 2,185 mile trek of the Appalachian Trail.

Graduate Student Assistant

Jordan Langton
graduated from Ohio University and taught middle school for 7 years in Athens, Ohio. After spending some time working in a small 19th century schoolhouse, he brought his dog and cat to Boulder to get his masters in Education, Foundations, Policy, and Practice. He is planning to graduate this spring and begin working on his doctorate immediately after.

Student Assistant

My name is Sana Mian and I am majoring in Sociology with a certificate in Public Health and a certificate in South Asian Languages. I enjoy meeting and getting to know people from all different backgrounds because I believe they all have something unique to bring. I love being involved and I enjoy looking for more opportunities everyday because each new opportunity helps me learn and grow in various ways.

BFIS Matching Coordinator

Kayla Morrissey caught the travel bug at 13 when she made her first trip abroad to Annecy, France.  A year later, while trying to convince her family to let her study abroad there, it was decided that it sounded like too much fun, so they came with, and ended up staying a year and a half!  This sparked her interest in politics, culture, and French.  She is now a senior at CU studying French Literature, and just got back from another year in France.  This time, she was studying politics in Bordeaux.  When not traveling, and seeking out opportunities to speak French in Boulder, she can be found seeking out live music and dancing opportunities, practicing her To Shin Do (because every traveler should know at least some basic self defense), or indulging in her love of Thai and Indian food.  

International Coffee Hour Student Assistant

Abby Caballero
is a Senior in Electrical and Computer Engineering and pursuing a minor in Technology, Arts, and Media and Spanish. She enjoys being outdoors, and snowboarding is her favorite thing to do! Abby is a member of the Kayak Club, Boulder Freeride, and AIESES. She really likes learning about robotics and AI systems. Abby also loves to learn about other cultures through experience.