Lauren Zimbelman, the International Scholar and Faculty Services (ISFS) Program and Event Coordinator, was busy this past summer designing events to involve international scholars, faculty, and interns in the Corvallis community.

In July, for example, ISFS hosted a trip to a blueberry farm on the outskirts of Corvallis to pick local produce and blueberries. Scholars and their families enjoyed picking and even sampling a variety of fresh fruits. At the end of the day, everyone returned with buckets (and stomachs) full of the delicious fruit. The drive homeISFS Walking Tour of Corvallis was characterized by discussion of dishes that could be made with blueberries and comparisons to other fruits in participants’ home countries.

Weekly walking tours of downtown Corvallis have been a primary activity of the summer programming as well. During the hour-long walks, Lauren spoke about local history, American culture, and practical knowledge about living in America, all while viewing Corvallis’ historic buildings, local art, and architecture. The walking tours ended at the Corvallis Saturday Market for scholars to explore. Through these walking tours, historical information is combined with useful everyday tips and an open forum for questions of all kinds. This provided an opportunity for new international scholars to connect with the city, get a sense for the Corvallis community, ask questions, and get to know each other in a casual environment.

Lauren Zimbelman states that the implementation of these programs has led to rich and engaging conversations and the activities have been fun to plan and facilitate. ISFS will continue to offer ongoing programming which engages scholars socially, academically, culturally, and in the community.

Article written by: Lauren Zimbelman and Adria Zampich-Gibbs