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.
Conversation Groups (Beginning/Intermediate level)
Conversation Groups meet weekly to practice English, make friends and learn about life in Ann Arbor. They are always fun, and everyone learns a lot! During the Covid pandemic, we met on ZOOM, and as we go into Fall 2021, some groups will remain on ZOOM. Others will meet in-person, outdoors as often as possible. Leaders are flexible and will discuss and respond to the comfort of group members, in terms of meeting in-person or on ZOOM. This is also true for our Conversation Partners, a meeting of one English speaker and one Newcomer. These conversations can be on ZOOM or in-person.
— Beginning English: Monday, 9:30 – 11:00 am, no children
2145 Independence Boulevard (Church of the Good Shepherd)
— All levels of English: Tuesday, 9:30 – 11:30 am, children included
2145 Independence Boulevard (Church of the Good Shepherd)
— Intermediate English: Tuesday, 1:00 – 3:00 pm, no children ZOOM
— Intermediate English: Wednesday, 9:30 – 11:00 am, no children ZOOM
— Intermediate English: Thursday, 10:00 – 12:00, no children ZOOM
— All levels of English: Conversation Partners
One to one conversation between an English speaker and a Newcomer can be on ZOOM or in-person.
There are six Conversation Groups. If your schedule changes and you want to change Conversation Groups, please contact me, Dale Magee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tea Groups (All English levels)
What makes a Tea Group special is the core group of friends who stay together year after year, welcoming a new group of guests each fall to join them at different hostess’ houses. Think of it as being part of a multi-generational family with grandmothers, young mothers and everything in between. Children are always welcome. And such strong friendships cannot break apart even in a pandemic.
With the uncertainties of the Delta variant we cannot invite you to our houses yet. But all that will change. We would like to get to know you via outdoor walks, Zoom calls, or other socially distanced events. Please request to join a Tea Group on our website international-neighbors.org:
When can you join a Tea Group? Please check all the times you are available:
2nd Tuesday of the month, 10 AM (AAH)
2nd Wednesday, 1 PM (AAW)
2nd Thursday, 9:30 AM (BP)
2nd Thursday, 1:15 PM (ANG)
3rd Monday, 9:30 AM (WW)
Any questions please contact Robyn at tea@international- neighbors.org.
Thank you for your interest in the Tea Groups.
Reading Groups (Low-Intermediate/High-Interm/Advanced)
Intermediate (Low) Reading Group
2nd and 4th Thursday, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
This group uses books, newspapers and online articles from various websites, such as m.live and annarborobserver.com, as well as short novels and short stories (fiction). Currently we are meeting on Zoom. Request to join this group.
Intermediate (High) Reading Group
2nd and 4th Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
This group uses intermediate to advanced fluency in communication. Members are expected to read 50-60 pages of a book (fiction or non-fiction) before each meeting (usually two weeks apart – the 2nd and 4th Wednesday morning of the month). Unfamiliar vocabulary, grammar and idioms are often discussed. Now that we’re meeting virtually, we now offer the opportunity to members to have the option to chat on the weeks we don’t meet to discuss the book. Request to join this group.
Intermediate (High) Mystery Book Reading Group
Every Wednesday, 10:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.
This is a high-intermediate English level group for those of us who love to read detective novels and murder mysteries. We try to choose books that are not overly violent or gruesome and that are short enough to be finished in 3 to 6 weeks. Participation in the group will require each member to read between 50 to 70 pages a week (each member can also opt to listen to the week’s assignment in audio book). Discussion and comments during the meetings are based on the assigned reading but the group also spends time in conversation about everyday life. This is a small group which gives more opportunity for each member to participate, get to know each other and forge friendships. We are currently meeting virtually on Zoom and will decide together with members when we feel comfortable meeting in person. Request to join this group.
Advanced Reading Group
1st and 3rd Tuesday, 1:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m. October – May
A friendly reading group of 8-12 intermediate to advanced English readers. Please visit us for a meeting or two to see if we are the right fit for you! Optional summer outings and socializing. We generally read one book a month and members take turns choosing a book and leading the discussion. We meet at least two times for each book.Currently we are meeting on Zoom. The group may have outdoor meetings this Fall as weather permits.
Advanced Reading Group
2nd and 4th Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
This year’s group is specifically designed for women interested in reading and discussing a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction books (we typically cover the gamut!). We will be covering American literature books and foreign literature translated into English. However, given the advanced subject material, participation will require advanced English/fluency skills to fully engage. Members of the group take turns leading the discussion for each meeting’s book/topic area. All books should also be readily available at local libraries for check-out. We are currently meeting in person. Request to join this group.
Discussion Groups (Advanced level)
Welcome! Discussion Groups meet once or twice a month to discuss topics or films. Meetings give women from around the world a chance to learn about each other and each other’s cultures. Discussions take place in the language of the group (English, French, German, and Spanish).
**Groups will meet in person or on Zoom. Most groups will alternate between these two options; adapting throughout the year, based on the recommendations of the Washtenaw County Health Department as well as on the preferences of group members. All groups require their members to be vaccinated for in person meetings.
Special Interest Groups (All English levels)
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
- 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. View Upcoming Activities »
Arts and Crafts
- 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. View Upcoming Activities »
- 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. View Upcoming Activities »
- 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. View Upcoming Activities »
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.
All are invited to join our Cultural Encounters group now in its fifth 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, but this year, due to the uncertainty of the Covid—19 situation we will remain on Zoom meetings this year
In the past we had encounters featuring Indonesia, Kazakhstan, India, Poland, Japan and Somalia. Thank you to all our wonderful hostesses! Other ideas are very welcome.
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.