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Community Council for International Students

The Community Council for International Students (CCIS) is an all-volunteer group dedicated to making Northwestern University international students feel welcome in this country and at the University.

CCIS's Mission

Since 1971, CCIS has sought to “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. 


Conversation Partners for Students

 A CCIS volunteer and a student practice and improve English skills by meeting regularly to discuss topics of shared interest. Partners will meet at a mutually agreed-upon location and time.

CCIS is seeking both fluent English speakers as volunteers and international students seeking language practice.

Apply online:

For more information about CCIS conversation partners:

Evanston contact: Doris Liberman, or by phone at 847-676-2932

Chicago contact: Lynn Carpenter, or by phone at 847-989-0897

Conversation Groups for Spouses

Spouses meet in small informal groups for cultural exchange, to discuss American experiences, and to improve English skills. The group currently meets via Zoom. For more information, contact Mary Helen Albright by email at or by phone at 847-868-7979.

Foster Relative Host Family Program

Through the CCIS International Friends Program you are paired with a local individual or family who will include you in activities throughout the year. Apply by downloading and completing an application:

For more information on the foster relative host family program, contact the appropriate person based on your location:
Evanston contact: Greta Sims, or by phone at 847-328-7394
Chicago contact: Lynn Carpenter, or by phone at 847-989-0897

Cooking Class

CCIS cooking classes have been paused due to COVID restrictions and concerns but will resume if there is interest. In the past, foreign students and spouses have met to cook and share lunch. The emphasis has been on American-style home cooking, but participants are encouraged to help plan the curriculum. There is a small cost to help pay for the food.

If you are interested in cooking classes, please contact Jeanne Reed by email at or by phone at 847-251-7973.