Community Council for International Students

What is CCIS?

CCIS (The Community Council for International Students) is an all-volunteer group dedicated to making Northwestern University international students feel welcome in this country and at the University. We do this by offering a variety of social and informational programs. 

CCIS History

CCIS (The Community Council for International Students) was founded in 1971 by a group of people who lived and/or traveled extensively in other countries. Their original mission holds true today: “to provide a cross-cultural exchange of ideas, information, and friendship.” Thousands of students from throughout the world have found CCIS to be a wonderful resource for making their stay in the USA easier and more enjoyable.

CCIS Programs & Contacts

For more information or to participate in any of these programs, call or email the names(s) listed. Only local phone calls can be returned. NOTE:  With the exception of Cooking Classes, there is no charge to participate in any of these programs.

Foster Relative
English Conversation Partners
English Conversation for Spouses
International Children's Playgroup
International American Women's Group
Cooking Class
Social Activities


Volunteer families or individuals invite students to stay in their homes for 2-3 days before classes begin. This offers an opportunity for getting acquainted within a close family setting in a short period of time. Students are included in various family activities throughout their stay at Northwestern.

Greta Sims, 847-328-7394, -or-
Bonnie Wefler, 847-866-7084,

Homestay Application (PDF)

Foster Relative

Students are paired with CCIS volunteers and are included in family activities throughout their years at Northwestern.

Greta Sims, 847-328-7394, -or-
Sylvia Alvino, 847-328-7516, -or-
Mary Lucas, 847-328-7936,

Foster Relative Application (PDF)

English Conversation Partners for Students

A CCIS volunteer and a student practice and improve English skills by meeting on a regular basis to discuss topics of shared interest at a mutually agreed upon time and place.

Apply Now! See below and click on the application for which you will be applying:

Community Volunteer Application
Student Volunteer Application
International Student Participant Application

For more information, please contact:
Maggie Wildman 847 864-1987
Joan Fragen 847 446-0184 

English Conversation for Spouses

Spouses meet weekly in small informal groups for cultural exchange, to discuss American experiences, and to improve English skills.  Classes are held in the lower level lounge of Englehart Hall.

Heather Hehman, 847-256-5116, -or-
Mary Helen Albright,

English Classes for Spouses Information (PDF)

International Children's Playgroup

For parents and children. Join us for fun and friendship. Meet other moms and dads while the children play. Discuss issues of child-raising and living in America. Meets periodically in Englehart Playroom. 

Flier here.

For more information contact Joan Fragen (

International Women's Group

Women of all nationalities gather to make new friends and share international customs. Social activities take place in members’ homes and other places of special interest.

Flier here.

Anita Yamada, 847-869-3634, -or-
Kim Mulligan at 847-784-9024,

Cooking Classes for Students' Spouses

Spouses meet regularly to experiment with new recipes to use at home. They meet in an American kitchen to cook international cuisine. Participants share in the cost of ingredients.

Jeanne Reed, 847-251-7973,

Fall 2013 CCIS Cooking Class Information (PDF)

Social Activities

Throughout the year, students and volunteers are invited to picnics, dinners and receptions.  When you plan to attend an event, be sure to reply where it says RSVP.

If you are an international student who wants to participate in a program, or a community member wanting to volunteer, please contact the name listed for the specific program in which you are interested or contact CCIS President Maggie Wildman, 847-864-1987,