International Neighbors (IN) are “Neighbors” (local women) who welcome “Newcomers” (women from other countries) into the community through participation in a wide variety of activities. Our monthly programs and small groups are held from September through May. Some groups continue throughout the summer.
Our focus is on friendship and cultural exchange. If you would like to take part in our activities, please register to become our member, so you can request to join the activities listed below.
Please note that admittance to activity groups depends on availability. Once you submit the form, the group leader(s) will contact you to tell you which group(s) you can join. Since space is limited, you might be on a waiting list for a while. Please make sure that your contact details are up to date, so we will be able to reach you! You can update these on “Your profile” page.
Also, please check the announcement page or join our Facebook group (IN Members-International Neighbors), as we will announce new groups there!
Tea Groups (All English levels) REQUEST TO JOIN
Tea Groups are friendly, informal social gatherings of 10-20 Hostesses and Guests. They meet once a month in the homes of hostesses for conversation, refreshments and friendship. Meetings are usually held in the daytime for about 2 hours. It is not necessary to be fluent in English to participate in a Tea Group, and transportation is available if needed.
Regular Tea Groups focus on guests, and meet at different hostesses’ houses. Light refreshments are provided by the hostess. A typical Tea Group has about eight hostesses and twelve guests, and each hostess takes special care of one or two guests the entire year. Programs might include a field trip for apple picking or the sharing of American and international holidays. It’s an informal way to meet new friends from around the world. Children are welcome in all but one group.
Baby/Toddler Tea Groups focus on the babies and toddlers (play, songs, baby development), and meet once a month led by the same hostess at the same house, where mothers can interact while the children play. The discussed themes are more focused on childcare, and field trips may include walks to the park, playgrounds and petting zoos. Expectant mothers are welcome.
Please register by Sept. 19th, 2016 for best availability in this year’s regular Tea Groups. Guests may join one regular Tea Group if there is room and a Baby Tea Group.
Conversation Groups (Beginning/Intermediate level) REQUEST TO JOIN
English Conversation Groups are for women who wish to practice and improve their spoken English with the assistance of a volunteer leader. Groups of 5-15 women meet weekly in different classrooms or in the home of the leader. Groups are divided into beginner and intermediate level learners. Meetings are usually held in the daytime for about 1.5 to 2 hours. Some groups include children.
Summer Conversation Groups are usually offered in June and July. Children are welcome.
Reading Groups (Low-Intermediate/High-
Interm./Advanced) REQUEST TO JOIN
Reading Groups focus on reading magazines, books, newspapers and online articles from local websites such as www.annarborobserver.com. These groups meet twice a month. They are divided into low-intermediate, high-intermediate and advanced reading material. Some groups may include children.
Discussion Groups (Advanced level) REQUEST TO JOIN
Discussion Groups meet once or twice a month in the homes of members to discuss topics or films. Meetings are educational and usually last about 2 hours. They give women from around the world a chance to learn about each other’s culture. Discussions take place in the language of the group (English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish). The participants choose various topics of general interest. Some English groups discuss international films.
Members should be fluent enough in the language of the group to enable them to take part in the discussions. High intermediate or advanced English is needed. Children are not included.
The Fun & Games group is intended for women who cannot attend daytime groups. It’ll involve casual conversation around a variety of activities at members’ homes and out around Ann Arbor, such as Board Game Night, Wardrobe Exchange, Lawn Games, Attending the Summer Festival together, etc.
Special Interest Groups (All English levels) REQUEST TO JOIN
Special Interest Groups offer a wide range of activity groups, including food-related (cooking, baking), Arts and Crafts (knitting, quilting, painting), Exercise/Fitness (hiking) and excursions (Foodies, Chat and Chew, Discover the “D”). Participants meet together in Arts and Craft groups to knit, quilt, cook, paint using watercolors. In the Exercise and Fitness groups, women hike and stroller walking. In the excursion groups women go on food related excursions or discover the city of Detroit. All activities provide great chances for women to make conversation and new friends. Groups meet weekly, twice a month or monthly.
Cooking and baking groups offer demonstrations of international cuisine with member participation. If a member is interested in cooking/baking activities, she can join only ONE of these groups.
Arts and Craft groups learn and share new techniques. The knitting group welcomes all women who have basic knitting skills. The quilting bee is for women who know how to quilt. Please note that the crocheting group is on hold and will not meet again until the fall of 2019.
The Monday hiking group and Wednesday stroller walking group meet at Gallup Park. The Thursday hiking group meets at different locations and hikes in the morning in the hotter months.
The Foodies group visits different ethnic markets and eateries/restaurants. The Chat and Chew group visits different restaurants once a month and the Discover the “D” group takes tours of buildings in Detroit and other Detroit sceneries.
Some of our Special Interest Groups continue during the summer. Some groups prefer to maintain a balance of women from different countries to offer more diversity. Children are not included in these groups EXCEPT for the stroller walking group.
Give it back offers the chance to volunteer together with your IN friends. Volunteering, the act of helping another human being, animal or organization for no personal gain, is a great American tradition. International Neighbors relies solely on volunteers but there are more organizations that need help.
So we started a “volunteering group”. Every month we will volunteer with a different organisation. It will help you to get to know the community, get experience with the concept, have fun and of course do some good!
We will send out an email every month with all the details (date, time, place, organisation) to the people that joined the group after which you can rsvp. We will organize an information meeting in October to explain this wonderful new group!
All are invited to join our Cultural Encounters group now in its fourth year. Meeting for a two-hour program once a month, we feature a different culture with a lively discussion about what makes it unique and have a delicious sampling of food.
Learn by comparing cultures
We learn from each other comparing the social aspects of our own cultures. How large a factor is community opinion versus individual choice? Is being on time important? What about authority and relationships? What is a typical wedding ceremony like? How are the people and nature connected in various cultures? Get the insights into all the dos and don’ts of our very unique countries, ask questions and broaden your world knowledge in a very relaxed, friendly atmosphere. Children are always welcome.
Last year we had encounters featuring Indonesia, Kazakhstan, India, Poland, Japan and Somalia. Thank you to all our wonderful hostesses! Potential programs this year feature Croatia, Ireland, Macedonia, South America, and Scandinavia. Other ideas are very welcome.
Sign up for the first encounter featuring Croatia
Our first program of the year will be hosted by Maja Ivanovic Rakos and feature Croatia on Friday, October 12th from 12:00 noon to 2 p.m. Please sign up online if you would like to attend and/or be added to our e-mail list. Additional details will follow.
International Day (IN Day)
International Day is a monthly gathering for all women. It is usually held on the third Thursday afternoon October through May from 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm. Socializing, refreshments and special programs give women an opportunity to share their cultures and gain a deeper insight into American life. Approximately, 100 women participate each month. Childcare is provided if needed.
Our Fall Open House and Annual Meeting are organized on the first and the last International Day of the year. They are both in its own way a celebration of our organization.