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December 12, 2013

Purdue international students participate in winter break community service in Florida

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — About two dozen Purdue University international students will spend their first week of winter break assisting elderly and impoverished families in Florida as part of the 2013 Boiler Way Out! Winter Break Trip on Dec. 15-21.

"The Boiler Out! program gives international students a chance to help our Greater Lafayette community while learning about American culture, and this winter break trip expands that learning opportunity," says Nancy Montague, co-coordinator of programs and engagement in the Office of International Students and Scholars. "Not all international students are able to return home during the break, so this gives them a chance to get to know students from other countries, including the United States, and American families."

Twenty-five students from Purdue, including three from the United States, are participating in the program, and they will assist with projects such as painting, yard work and debris cleanup in Leesburg, Fla. The Purdue students paid their own travel expenses. The international students are from China, India, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Korea and Thailand. These students also will be traveling with 12 Ohio University students from Hillel Foundation.

Boiler Out! is partnering with the National Relief Network Multi-Cultural program, which helps families in need while offering college students an opportunity to discover another part of the United States.

Boiler Out! is housed in the Office of International Students and Scholars. About 225 Purdue international students representing 38 countries volunteer hundreds of hours to local community service projects each year. Other projects include Boo at the Zoo, Thanksgiving Dinner at Hanna Center, BINGO at a local nursing home, helping at elementary school after-school programs and festivals, Food Finders Food Bank, ushering at the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra, and socializing animals at the Almost Home Humane Society. Purdue students sign up for individual activities and often there are waiting lists because so many students want to participate. Students apply for the program and are selected based on a number of criteria, including their past volunteer experience, general interests and schedule availability.

Purdue University has the second-largest international student population among U.S. public universities and is third overall for both public and private universities.

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu

Source: Nancy Montague, will be reachable during the program at nancym@purdue.edu