Community Engagement Programs

Our Community Engagement Programs are designed to connect members of the Penn State and State College community with one another across cultures to foster a greater appreciation and understanding of the rich cultural differences that exist in our region.

Conversation Partners Program

The Conversation Partners Program matches one native or near-native English speaker with an individual or a small group of international partners for informal language practice and fun cultural exchange. It is a volunteer-driven program and is open to everyone – Penn State faculty, staff, students and local community members. Participants often find this to be an excellent opportunity to extend warm friendship and share their own cultures, as well as practice their English speaking skills in an informal setting.

If you are interested, please fill out the volunteer registration link, and feel free to contact the program coordinator, Wenjie Fu (wzf11@psu.edu), if you have any questions.

Annual Tax Workshops

Are you an international student with tax questions? The Annual Tax Workshops provide general information about U.S. taxes to international students and scholars. The workshops highlight the process of filing taxes (federal, state, and local). Sessions are held in March and April every year. The Directorate of International Student and Scholar Advising (DISSA) provides email instructions on calculating residency and other details once they are available. For more information, please visit our tax information page (https://global.psu.edu/category/taxes). For more tax forms and international tax information, please visit Penn State’s Payroll Office website (https://controller.psu.edu/payroll-office/international-information).

Each year, volunteers in the Annual Tax Workshops help hundreds of individuals from more than 55 countries and regions around the world. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer with the annual tax workshops, please fill out the volunteer registration link and feel free to contact the program coordinator, Wenjie Fu, at wzf11@psu.edu if you have any questions. We would love to have you join us!

International Speakers Bureau

The International Speakers Bureau connects international volunteers with university and community organizations to promote intercultural understanding by sharing their home cultures through interactive and dynamic presentations. Speakers are community members, Penn State students, scholars, faculty and staff who are interested in providing age-appropriate presentations to various audiences. It’s a wonderful opportunity for international volunteers to share their life experiences and cultural perspectives. The presentations might include but not limited PowerPoint slides, the display of cultural items, performances of cultural music, dancing, or crafts.

If you would like to be an international speaker, please fill out the volunteer registration link. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the program coordinator, Wenjie Fu (wzf11@psu.edu).

To request a speaker, please send an email that includes detailed information such as proposed date, interested countries, and number of volunteers needed to Wenjie Fu (wzf11@psu.edu) with “Speaker Request” in the subject line. We kindly ask you to send the request at least two to three weeks in advance to provide ample time for our office to contact and confirm a volunteer.