ISF: A family for international students


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Need any support when you first come to the United States but don’t know where to go? The International Student Friendship (I.S.F.) provides consistent, authentic, and unconditional support to internationals.
Joel Scarborough, director of I.S.F., says that they help international students by offering a “home away from home” and serving internationals guests in any way they can.
I.S.F. wholeheartedly agrees that “others do not care how much you know until they know how much you care” by offering international students plenty of services including transportation, getting prescriptions when they are sick, finding apartments, shopping for low-cost items, hosting dinners at American home, introducing them to American friends, helping them practicing English, and developing their leadership skills through lessons.
Scarborough indicated that inviting international students to American homes is a big step for them, since many international students never “set foot inside American homes”.
“I think it is tragic that many international students never got a chance to see American homes,” he said. “We tried to be friends with international students, link them with American families, and let them have total American experiences, not just on campus.”
I.S.F. was found by Joel Scarborough and Dr. Albert Botchway as a non-profit philanthropic Christian organization in August 2016. Both men have been working with international students for decades and have sufficient experiences in cross-cultural communication. A year later, it became a major socialized organization for international students including seven core members, hundreds of volunteers, and students.
Raj Sinha, a former volunteer of I.S.F. and former international student at UIS, indicated that he would never forget the memory of visiting an American home and the support he got from ISF.
“The people are friendly,” Sinha said. “They provided numerous help for us, such as transportation, inviting us to American homes, and teaching us about friendship.”
Girish Villa, an international student at UIS, emphasized that Scarborough is a generous, wonderful, and caring person who treated him like his own son.
“People in I.S.F. are wonderful,” Villa said, “They care about me. Most importantly, they treat me with respect and make me feel at home.”
For further information, visit, or contact Joel (217)361-7327.

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