The Mission of the USC Aiken International Mentor Program is to support new international students starting out at USC Aiken and in Aiken, SC. In this program, mentors and mentees spend time together in one-on-one meetings, group gatherings, and social activities. Involvement in the program offers a fun way for participants to develop leadership skills and foster community among international students.

About the Program:

We ask that all participants commit to meeting at least two times a month: once at our big-group meetings and once on their own with their partner. The big-group meetings will be fun and free events. In addition to the big-group meetings, mentors and mentees are also expected to meet at least once a month on their own. Students choose to meet either on or off campus to grab a coffee, share a meal, or even visit downtown.

As a Mentor, your role is to:

  • Assist your incoming first-year, transfer, or exchange student mentees as they adjust to life at USC Aiken and in the local community (e.g. offering advice on cultural adjustment, academics, campus resources, and the wider city).
  • Attend all monthly big-group meetings as well as the mandatory mentor training session.
  • Facilitate and coordinate meetings with your mentees at least once a month.
  • Maintain regular contact with your mentees, either via phone, email, or social media.
  • Meet with a designated program coordinator at least once during the semester to check-in.

Want to be an International Student Mentor?

Please complete the Mentor Form. Application deadline for mentors is April 15. All mentors will be required to complete the mentor training workshop with the Office of International Programs.


Friends of International Students (FIS) is a community-based hospitality program. The program helps USC Aiken international students in a new culture and way of life. The goal of the program is to promote international friendship and understanding, and to encourage learning between international students and our community through various on campus activities. These events are posted to the International Student Listserv.


Friendship Families is a program that matches international students with local families. The program can help ease the transition to college life for new students, meaningfully connect students and community members, and offer international students a view of American life and culture.

To accomplish the above goals, the program matches a member of the community with a student and encourages periodic communication, interaction, and meetings. The Office of International Programs sponsors a few events throughout the academic year for hosts and their students, but what happens beyond these events is up to the pair. Examples of activities shared by hosts and students include: professional or college athletic events, holiday celebrations, religious experiences, outings with families, or dinners at home or a restaurant. While the friendship family program allows for periodic interaction, students remain on campus and do not live with host families.

Want to be matched with a Friendship Family?

Applications for students will open on July 1. You can apply to be matched with a Friendship Family by filling out this form. If you have any questions, please contact OIP at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..