One week into her senior year, Natasha Reifenberg headed to an academic health conference in El Salvador, presenting a policy brief based in research she had been involved in for the last two years. An opportunity usually reserved for distinguished academics, the trip was just one of many highlights in an outstanding undergraduate career that includes internships at the Global Fund for Women and United Nations Development Program and independent research opportunities centered around women’s issues and rights. Reifenberg attributes her accomplishments to her education in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters — particularly her philosophy major.
Resources for Student Clubs
Undergraduate and graduate international student clubs are organized and funded through the Student Activities Office. ISSA actively supports club development by offering the following services:
- Assistance in developing and planning events.
- Financial support
- A potential event participant pool of more than 1,000 international students, scholars, and family members representing nearly 100 countries.
- Help promoting the event.
For a complete list of Notre Dame's student clubs, please visit http://sao.nd.edu/groups/alphabetical.html.
Club Funding Requests
Notre Dame's cultural clubs play a vital role in helping international students adjust to the Notre Dame campus as well as celebrate the cultures of our international student body. International Student and Scholar Affairs (ISSA) awards many grants each semester, each up to $500.00, to support Notre Dame's cultural clubs.
- The club or organization must be registered through the Student Activities Office and be in good standing.
- The proposed program or event should be open to all international students. Programs that are too exclusive many not be eligible for co-sponsorship.
- The proposed program or event should raise students' cultural awareness or deepen students' cultural development.
- Events should promote a positive and inclusive campus environment.
How Can Your Club Apply for ISSA Funding?
Club officers should email the following information to email@example.com at least three weeks prior to the event:
- Name and purpose of the group seeking funding
- Name, date and time of the event
- Brief description of the event
- Target audience or participants (e.g. graduate students, undergraduate students, etc.)
- Proposed venues
- Budget, with line items indicating anticipated costs. For example, “airfare for 3 performers – $1,000,” “overnight stay – $250,” “posters – $50,” etc.
- List of other possible sponsors, with amount of funding granted or anticipated
- Promotion strategies – How you will advertise the event on and off campus (if it is open to the public)?
- Club FOAPAL
- Accounting for Expenses
If a club's program or event is approved for funding, ISSA will transfer the full amount of the grant to the club's FOAPAL account. Club officers should submit copies of receipts to ISSA, and should retain receipts for all expenses as directed by Student Activities.
Priority for Funding
First priority for funding will go to clubs that meet the eligibility requirements above. ISSA will work with all clubs to research alternative and supplemental sources of funding if necessary.
Tips for Club Leaders
- Consider hosting a fundraising dinner, dance, performance, or exhibition with funds earmarked for a special event or agency (orphanage, hunger relief, etc.) in a country associated with your club’s mission and outreach.
- When seeking co-sponsorship, consider other campus and community resources. For example, many clubs receive co-sponsorships through ISSA, MSPS, Campus Ministry, Grad Life and other offices on campus. Some organizations in the community may also be interested in co-sponsoring an event, such as Downtown South Bend, local international restaurants and businesses, fraternal organizations, embassies and consulates, NAFSA and other national/international organizations that sponsor student initiatives, etc. Consult with Student Activities for guidelines and suggestions on seeking funds from external organizations.
- Remember the Multicultural Commissioners, Hall Councils, SUB, Student Government, CCC, International Alumni Clubs Office, etc. They have funds for international events.
- Keep in mind other campus grants and funds like the Rector Fund.
- In addition to posters, table tents, and listservs like ISSA, MSPS and Grad Life, consider getting the word out through residence hall “stall notes," posters and table tents. Departments can send information to their majors. Request that The Observer and Scholastic cover your event, not just advertise through paid notices. Ask other clubs to spread the word.
- Keep your website up to date and refer people to the details online.
- Add your events to the University calendars, including Calendar.nd.edu, department/institute calendars, residence hall calendars and The Observer’s second page calendar notes.
- Work together with departments and institutes.
- Consider hosting a career night with panels or resources that assist your members in exploring career options.
- Work together with the Center for Social Concerns to plan a service event or outing.
- Work with RecSports or other clubs to organize a tournament/demonstration of international sports and games like cricket, capoiera, rugby, curling, etc.
- Work with Food Services to get international items on the menu.
- Co-sponsor a lecture or workshop with a department or working group that helps you highlight issues such as economic trends, scientific developments, architecture, the arts, etc., associated with the culture/national group you represent.
- Team up with Academic and Multicultural Hall Commissioners to get in-hall programs to include international issues and concerns.
- Host an Evening of Prayer from Around the World event with Campus Ministry that provides the cultural background for various rituals/services and that allows others to experience an aspect of a faith or creed more authentically.
- Celebrate a mass in another language or cultural tradition.
- Consider co-hosting an event with a club that shares your mission at St. Mary’s, Holy Cross, IUSB, or Bethel College.
- Encourage your club members to attend student conferences that focus on cultural exchange, dialog, leadership, etc. Plan your own conference and host it here at Notre Dame, inviting other colleges and universities to send representatives.
- Encourage club members to participate in the International Speakers Bureau and go out into the community and make presentations at schools, churches, the Robinson Community Learning Center, etc.
- Plan to attend a international roundtable!
Keep in Touch with Student Activities, ISSA, etc.
- Remember to work with Student Activities to secure performance rights for film screenings, venues, outside food service, fundraising approval, transportation, general guidance, etc.
- Please keep in touch with ISSA so that we can support and promote your activities and send targeted emails to interested internationals in addition to the general listserv notices.
If you have any questions or would like to set up a meeting with an ISSA advisor, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
When Francesco Tassi arrived at Notre Dame, he was sure he would major in finance. But a lecture on refugees set him on a different path — one that led him to travel through Italy for three months to study refugee integration firsthand. Tassi, who was born in Italy and moved to the United States in third grade, traveled widely in high school and spent time living with host families in several countries. Those experiences sparked a passion for learning about and understanding cultures.