Community Friends - International Place of The Claremont Colleges

Co m munit y Frie nds
o f In t ern a tio n a l S tu d en ts
Inte rnat ional Plac e of Th e Clar e mont Colleg es , 390 Ea st 9t h S tr eet, Cla re mont , C A 91711 -5905
S u mm e r 2 0 1 4
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Vo l. 3 7 , No . 3
Community Friends of the Year 2014
As has often been the case, our Community
“Friend” of the Year is actually a couple who have
been members for many years: John and Deb Corey.
John and Deb have been a host family and also
members of the Support Council for many years. They
have spent many hours helping at numerous
International Festivals, Welcome Picnics, Annual
Meetings and many other events. And in all the years
they’ve served, they’ve done it cheerfully, without
In addition to CFIS activity, they have also
volunteered for the Humane Society and USO in
Ontario. They have a great garden and provide food for
home-grown meals. Deb is an artist, who works with
fused glass and designs jewelry. John is a Vietnam Vet
and a member of the American Legion. He is also an
accomplished craftsman who has built a pizza oven
and outdoor fireplace.
John and Deb are devoted parents and have raised
a wonderful daughter, who is now married to an
Australian. They recently traveled to Australia for a
Deb has been our Membership Chair and more
currently is assisting us with our social media presence
on Facebook. Deb has baked and helped at the bakery
booth at the Festival for many years, and John has
flipped many a burger at I-Place summer BBQs.
Our thanks to John and Deb Corey for their many
years of active and enthusiastic support for
Community Friends of International Students and
International Place!
CFIS President Dave Bedell
with Deb and John Corey
President’s Letter
Another very successful year for Community
Friends is drawing to a close. When I briefly spoke
at the Farewell Celebration on May 16, I asked the
graduates how many of them had host families when
they arrived, and a vast majority raised their hands.
Many of them thanked their families when they
introduced themselves at the end. It is very
gratifying to think that, as students graduate in the
years ahead, they will probably be thanking their
host families.
It’s amazing when I stop and think about all
the good times that our organization was responsible
for in just the span of a few months: all the great
relationships established by host families and their
International Parent Potluck dinner and the positive
feedback we got from those parents; the fall picnic
with the good food and wonderful talk by the Mayor;
the joy of the children when they met Santa at our
Christmas party; the wonderful turnout we had at our
first annual CFIS
Member Get-Together held at I
-Place; the hundreds who came to the International
Festival; and all the students in financial need who
benefited from UPS grants. I’m sure that many of
you could add to this .
(continued on page 2)
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President’s Letter
(continued from page 1)
list from your personal experiences this year
Now we can look forward to next year with some
changes to our Board. Maureen McCluney and Neva
Barker will share the duties of Vice President, replacing
John Hill. Renuka Balakrishnan will move from being
an At-Large member to Secretary, replacing Neil Gerard
who will become Support Council Coordinator. Lissa
Petersen is stepping down as Nominating Chair to be
replaced by Claudia Lennear. Our Membership Chair,
Edie Young, is leaving and Amy Bernstein and Linda
Scott will share the duties for next year. Katya Fairbanks
will join us to help Virginia Bower with the
Conversation Partners. The Board has created the new
position of Electronic Communications Coordinator and
Catherine and Frank D’Emilio have agreed to serve in
this position. Finally, at-large member Donna Bedell is
moving to the Support Council to be replaced by Aleta
Wenger. I look forward to meeting all the new and
returning members at our annual Board BBQ in July.
I want to thank all the Board members who served
this year. It is a pleasure to work with a group of people
who are so enthusiastic and responsible. I’m delighted
that so many are staying on for next year. I want to give
special thanks to those who are leaving the Board for all
the work they did for Community Friends: Vice
President John Hill, who has been a vital force in
Community Friends for many years; Lissa Petersen, who
has done a great job as Nominating Chair in recruiting
new members to our Board; Edie Young our
Membership Chairman for all she did to help us keep in
touch with those in our organization; and my wife,
Donna, who, although leaving the Board, will continue
with her diligence in making sure I fulfill all of my
Finally, I want to encourage everyone to be a host
family for new international students whenever you can,
and contribute financially to Community Friends. This
will help us to maintain not only our current programs,
but to find new ways to reach out and enrich the lives of
those who come to our community from other countries,
and enrich our own lives as well.
Dave Bedell President,
Community Friends of International Students
Members of the Board 2014-2015
President: David Bedell
Maureen McCluney & Neva Barker
Secretary: Renuka Balakrishnan
Treasurer: Susan Brinkama
Nominating Chair: Claudia Lennear
Directors & Coordinators
Host Family: John Tarin
Amy Bernstein, Linda Scott
Newsletter Co-Editors:
Barbara Rugeley, Helen Young
Special Events:
Joan Gerard, Linda Heilpern, Mitra Nag
Support Council: Neil Gerard
Co-Conversation Partners:
Virginia Bower, Katya Fairbanks
Electronic Communications:
Catherine & Frank D’Emilio
Aleta Wenger, Rita Wodinsky, Tamara Lindvall
Community Support Council
Sandra Baldonado, Donna Bedell, Norma BlissettJacoob, Laura Bollinger, Deb and John Corey, Barbara and Vasu Dev, John Faranda, Emily and Michael Fay, Sandra Flores, Carol Gil, Helaine and
Steve Goldwater, Betty Hagelbarger, Brenda &
John Hill, Anita Hughes, Sue Keith, Pat Lightfoot,
Tamara and John Mark Lindvall, Susan Lominska,
Charlene Martin, Marc Massoud, Dean McHenry,
Swapan Nag, Deede and Larry Olson, Claire Oxtoby, Dee Pawley, Lissa Petersen, Diann Ring, Marguerite Royse, Herb Scott, Greg Shapton, Judith
and David Tanenbaum, Ellen and Marshall Taylor,
Edie Young, Cindy Walkenbach
International Place Staff
Director: Donald Delgado
Assistant Director: Marsha Habib
Administrative Assistant: Sue Kerns
Program Coordinator: Chrystal Orozco
Contact Information
I-Place Office: (909) 607-4571
E-mail: [email protected]
Fax: (909) 621-8549
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Annual CFIS Meeting and Dinner
Sunday, June 1, 2014
Sixty people, including nine International Students, attended this year’s
Annual CFIS Meeting and Dinner, held at the Smith Campus Center at
Pomona College on Sunday, June 1. The evening began with a reception on
the patio and was followed by dinner. After dinner David Bedell conducted
the business portion of the evening, highlighting the great strides that CFIS
made this year. Treasurer Susan Brinkama presented the budget and Lissa
Peterson presented the new slate of officers, who were approved
unanimously. In Donald Delgado’s absence, Assistant Director Marsha
Habib gave the Director’s Report. Marsha recounted the major events of the
year and complimented CFIS for its role supporting our international
students and I Place. Joan Gerard, Special Events Co-Chair, introduced the
featured speaker, Thomas Ilgen, Emeritus Jones Foundation Professor of
Political Science at Pitzer College. Professor Ilgen spoke on the
Speaker Thomas Ilgen
“International Cooperation in the Syrian Civil War: The Removal of
Chemical Weapons” and gave an optimistic view on the international cooperation that has been evident in
removing these weapons from Syria.
Joan and Neil Gerard
with Sammy Bor and
Robert Langat from Kenya
John Faranda with
Isabella Speialo from Singapore
and Eliana Keiman from Brazil
Page 3
I-Place Returnees
by Charlene Martin, Past Director of I-Place
Mandy Liu, Deputy Executive Director of
the Institute of Engineering Education in
Taiwan, visited Claremont in 2013. It was
wonderful to hear about her life and career since
receiving her doctorate in education from
Claremont Graduate University in 2001.
Mandy was one of the bright stars of I-Place.
She visited us as soon as she arrived from Cal
State Fullerton, where she received a master’s
degree in educational administration. She saw
the value of our services to students and began
volunteering her time, kindness, and HER CAR
to help new students get settled. (Host families
know the scene!) She also worked the Festival
and helped plan educational programs.
She reminisced, “I thank I-Place from the
bottom of my heart! I met so many smart and
sophisticated students from all over the world
and the wonderful Community Friends. I found
a sort of family here and it made all the
difference in getting ready to face the academic
challenges ahead.”
Mandy’s people skills, intelligence, and
commitment to education soon landed her on the
I-Place staff as Coordinator
of the “World of Cultures” program, which
was funded for 4 years in the mid-1990s by a
grant from the 3M Foundation to provide a
program of international education in Pomona
Valley public schools. Mandy contacted
principals and teachers to tell them about the
opportunity for children to learn from
international students at the Claremont Colleges.
Responses poured in. In all, we visited hundreds
of classes and impacted thousands of students
during the life of the program. Thanks in large
part to Mandy!
In her academic career at CGU, Mandy
loved working with the professors – especially
Jack Schuster, Daryl Smith and David Drew.
She helped research one of Professor Schuster’s
books on American faculty and wrote her own
John Mark and Tamara Lindvall,
and Mandy Liu
dissertation on the “Adaptation of Foreign
Faculty Members to Academic Life in the US.”
Mandy said, “The care of faculty members for
students at CGU is very special….Claremont is a
highly intellectual place – with a rare openness.
Students are encouraged to do research they are
passionate about. I felt I truly belonged there.”
Mandy departed from Claremont to be
Research Associate for the American
Association of Medical Colleges in Washington,
D.C. When she went home for Christmas, in
2003, she decided to interview for a position in a
new institution working on accrediting schools
of engineering in Taiwan. The institute quickly
named her Deputy Executive Director. With 14hour days and 7 days a week, she dug into this
pioneering effort to introduce accreditation
processes to her country. By 2013, her Institute
of Engineering Education had accredited 77
universities and 450 engineering programs and is
now assisting in the formation of accrediting
institutes in other academic fields.
Mandy Liu shared so much with us while in
Claremont and has gone on to accomplish great
things. We’re thankful we knew her “when.”
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New I-Place Initiatives for 2013-14
by Marsha Habib, Asst. Director of I-Place
“Café I-Place”: International Place was kept open until 10 pm during Finals Week for students to take a
break and/or study. Students enjoyed a transformation of the Charlene Martin Lounge, including checkered
tablecloths, chalkboard menus, roses in small vases, French background music, croissants, muffins, and a
variety of coffee, tea and seltzer. We called it “Café I-Place.” We also offered Boba tea in the afternoon to
students. Over 2 days, we saw 100+ students from across The Claremont Colleges. Perhaps the most
exciting aspect of Café I-Place was the many new faces! We hope to continue “Café I-Place” next semester
during Finals Week.
Graduation Stoles: A Pomona College senior, Anna Okutu Godfriedovna
Twum, approached International Place with the idea for an international stole for
commencement. We got student feedback on the design of the stole, and we were
able to order them for graduating international students. The stoles were white
satin fabric with gold trim and a gold globe. Students wore the stoles proudly at
commencement ceremonies across The Claremont Colleges. We hope to make the
graduation stoles an annual tradition.
Shopping Trips: We offered a trip to Victoria Gardens in Rancho Cucamonga
in February and a trip to Crossroad Colonies in Upland in April. Since many international students do not
have access to a car, these shopping trips provide a much-needed service. We hope to continue shopping
trips to different destinations in the fall semester.
Spring Break Trip to San Francisco: Donald Delgado,
Director, and Chrystal Orozco, Program Coordinator, led a
group of 30 students to San Francisco during spring break.
The cost of the trip was only $175, and that fee included
transportation, staying in a student hostel, and the cost of a
MUNI (bus) pass. Students were taken to Golden Gate Park,
Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman’s Wharf. Several
students were able to participate in the trip through funds
provided by I-Place’s UPS Cultural Enrichment grants.
Orientation Leaders selected: We had an overwhelming number of current students apply to be
orientation leaders for the fall New International Student and Scholar Orientation (NISSO) in August.
Students selected to be orientation leaders filled out an application, were interviewed, selected and attended
two planning sessions. We were only able to accept half the applicants as NISSO Leaders. We have
representation across The Claremont Colleges. Orientation leaders gave us several wonderful ideas which
we hope to incorporate into this August’s orientation. We anticipate that we will be picking up many
students from the airport and offering them stays with host families. Orientation Week (including airport
pickups, host family stays, trip to the beach, etc.) is only possible with the help of NISSO Leaders, host
families and Community Friends. Thank you all for your continued support! This past year, International
Place representatives met 170 students at the airport and offered them rides to Claremont. In addition, 142
students stayed with host families.
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From Host to Hosted
by Neil and Joan Gerard
In 2007, Emilia Asiedu came into our lives as
an international student from Accra, Ghana. Very
quickly, we met Manayo Oddoye, also from Accra,
who was a life-long friend of Emilia and also
starting at Pomona College. In the beginning, the
girls were inseparable and as often as we saw
Emilia we saw Manayo. They remained close and
graduated together in 2011.
On graduation
weekend, we hosted a dinner for Emilia, Manayo,
and their parents who had made the trip for
graduation. Following graduation, Facebook was
our connection, including learning of Manayo’s
marriage to Alorm Foli whom we had known
through I-Place. Alorm graduated from HMC
before the girls.
This year, as Joan and I were planning our
Africa trip to see our son who was living in
Senegal, we decided to try to visit Ghana and
reconnect with the girls. For months we emailed
and Facebooked to plan a long weekend in Accra.
What a treat it turned out to be! On Saturday and
Sunday, Emilia and Manayo became our tour
guides around Accra including the W.E.B. Du Bois
Cultural Centre, Kwame Nkrumah’s Memorial, the
Art Colony and Market, and a tour of the University
of Ghana. We even visited the Center where Emilia
has started a Children’s Theater program. One of the
highlights was Saturday night when Dr. and Mrs.
Oddoye hosted a dinner party for us. The girls were
there, as was Alorm and friends and relatives. We
spent the evening talking, meeting new people,
discussing sports, politics, music and current events,
until dinner was served; all with John Coltrane
albums playing in the background. It was a
wonderful evening full of good people, good food
and camaraderie. When we were leaving, we tried to
thank Dr. and Mrs. Oddoye for the wonderful
evening. He cut us off, saying that this was a partial
thank-you for all that we did when the girls were at
Pomona, including the wonderful dinner we served
them. We have been blessed to travel internationally
and have met up with other international sons and
daughters. Each time we do, we are reminded of
how important our work is and how much it is
appreciated by the students and their families
Page 6
Interviews with
Graduating Students
Richard Yoon
should be familiar to
some members of
addressed us at our
first annual social
gathering at I-Place
in February. At that
praised our host family program and
specifically mentioned the welcome and help
he received from his host family, John Faranda.
Richard, from South Korea, was an exchange
student at CMC for just one semester but was
actively involved at the school and at I-Place.
You might remember him as one of the hip-hop
dancers at the Festival.
Richard thoroughly enjoyed everything
about his experience here, including the
wonderful California weather. The quality of
his class lectures, his relationships with the
professors, and the college dining hall food
were praised. It was especially interesting that
he even mentioned the amazing views of stars
at night, something he doesn’t experience in the
large cities of Korea.
A very memorable experience for Richard
was attending the lectures at the Athenaeum
where he was pleased to sit at the head table
with the speaker George Roberts and received
some very helpful career advice.
Richard now returns home to Korea where
he will finish 2 more years at Yonsei University
to receive a BA in business.
Dave Bedell, Interviewer
Neha Dafria, from India, received an MA
in bioscience at Keck Graduate Institute. She’s
now moving on to San Francisco, where she
will be involved in a biotech start-up in gene
therapy for rare diseases. She looks forward to
living and working in San Francisco since she
enjoys it more than the Los Angeles area.
When she arrived in Claremont 2 years ago
she did not have a host family, but she was very
grateful for the help that I-Place provided.
Adjusting to life in California was fairly easy
for her since it was somewhat similar to the 5
years she studied in the UK where she earned an
MA in bioscience from the University of
Leicester. However, she did note that it was
frustrating to live here without good public
transportation, and she had to adapt to driving
and walking on the left side.
Dave Bedell, Interviewer
Neha Dafria and friends
Lalruatkima earned a PhD in religion at
Claremont Graduate University. From the small
northeastern state of Mizoram in India,
Lalruatkima (who has only one name) said
some of his most memorable experiences were
conversations he had with friends over coffee or
with colleagues in the library, discussions that
stay with you. “Sometimes we didn’t agree, but
the conversation opened up other views and
perspectives,” said Lalruatkima, reflecting that
the atmosphere at Claremont was conducive to
contemplation and “the kind of work we do.”
Lalruatkima said access to the broad scope of
resources and databases at CGU gave him
(continued on page 8)
Page 7
Interviews with
Graduating Students
(continued from page 7)
invaluable insights into his own research.
Studying at CGU also enabled him to extend
his reach into the broader academic
community: he interacted with scholars and
speakers from other schools in the Southern
California region, including those from USC,
University of California, and Cal State
campuses during his time here.
Lalruatkima plans to stay in the US to
work at a Claremont-based non-profit
organization called “The Institute for
Signifying Scriptures,” which focuses on
religion and culture in different parts of the
world. Lalruatkima said California is far more
diverse than he imagined when he first arrived
seven years ago. He no longer believes that
Hollywood and Silicon Valley are the only
nerve centers of the state. “That is just the
veneer,” he said. “I would rather be in
California than any other state because of its
diversity. I like the flavor here.” With his work
at the NGO, it looks likely that Lalruatkima
won’t be leaving any time soon.
Lynne Curry, Interviewer
Ei Phyir Theint came to Scripps College
(formerly Burma)
Phyir will return to
Myanmar and will
use her academic
skills and US
educational experience to assist students in
Myanmar who are preparing to attend US
colleges. El Phyir has joined a non-profit
organization, the Pre-Collegiate Program of
Lumbini Academy, based in Rangoon, which
helps prepare Burmese students develop the
skills needed to succeed in the US educational
testing system. She will be using a variety of
test preparation and critical thinking programs
in her new assignment.
Ei Phyir said her best memories of
Claremont were her host family, Donna and
Dave Bedell. “They were like my parents,” she
recounted. “I have also adopted other host
families, like Marshall and Ellen Taylor.” As
she moves back to Rangoon, Ei Phyr said “I
will miss the friendly professors, the
community of Claremont where I took long
walks, and my landlady, who is like my
We wish Ei Phyir success in the next phase
of her life adventure.
Renuka Balakrishnan, Interviewer
Harvey Mudd student Li Yip Koh came
from Singapore with a clear goal of obtaining a
broad-based engineering education. While at
Harvey Mudd, he enjoyed a multidisciplinary
educational experience while also having the
opportunity to work in the field of biomedical
Li Yip was a sponsor in I-Place’s New
International Student School Organization
(NISS0) program that orients newly-arrived
students to their surroundings. Li Yip found IPlace to be a safe, accepting environment that
helps students navigate cultural gaps in their
day-to-day activities.
Li Yip will be returning to Singapore to
pursue his interest in biomedical engineering.
Renuka Balakrishnan, Interviewer
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Host Families Needed
International Place Host Family Program
I am a volunteer for International Place of The Claremont Colleges (I-Place) and Community
Friends of International Students. Each year The Claremont Colleges welcome over 100 new
international students to the campuses. These students arrive a few days ahead of other students so
they can participate in an outstanding orientation program put on by the staff at International Place.
For those few days before the dormitories open, these students stay with local host families who
provide bed and breakfast, a warm welcome to the United States, and a chance to get to know an
American family. Returning host families regularly say that they love the program. They get to
know a fine young person from another country and culture, enriching the host family as much as
the guest student, all in only 3-5 nights. And sometimes the host family gets to travel, meeting
former students, and their families, around the world.
A Host Family’s main responsibilities include:
1. Contacting the student in advance, by e-mail, if possible, to welcome them and check on
any issues with dietary restrictions, allergies, or pets
2. Bed and breakfast for 3-5 nights
3. Transportation to the colleges
4. A few dinners, if you plan to fix something for yourselves
5. Attending, with your student, the Welcome Picnic to be held on Wednesday, August 27,
5:30-8:00 p.m. if you can, where you will meet all the 100+ other host families and 180 or
so students
6. If you have time, you could offer to take your student for their first shopping or sightseeing
trip. They pay for their purchases
7. Enjoying the exchange of cultural values, maybe make a friend
8. During the day International Place provides a required orientation for the students
9. Most students begin arriving in early to mid-August. Graduates might arrive in June or
July to search for housing. Other volunteers can help with that search
10. You do NOT have to pick the student up at the airport
If you are interested and have preferred dates for hosting, countries or gender, etc., please let
International Place (909-607-4571; [email protected]) know how we can meet your preferences
To learn more about I-Place, please visit their homepage
Click on Host an International Student to see other important resources
If you are not able to host a student but would still like to assist us, we also need drivers to
help students hunt for apartments, go shopping, or take them on their first sight-seeing trip. That is
another nice way to meet these fine international students from the colleges. I think you would
enjoy it.
John Tarin, Host Family Coordinator
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36th International Festival
Thanks to all who helped with and attended the International Festival on April 12. This year, we had
23 country/region booths. We also had non-country booths such as such as Baked Goods, Beer/Wine
Garden, Crafts, Drinks/Lemonade, Story Telling, Trinkets & Treasures and Books. The Books booth is a
new addition initiated by members of CFIS which we really appreciate!
As usual, Community Friends were out in force, helping with setup, cleanup, selling tickets and helping
to staff the non-country booths. In addition to Community Friends, local Boy Scout troops, sports teams
from The Claremont Colleges, students from the Mt. San Antonio College of Hospitality and Restaurant
Management program and CalPoly Pomona Collins College of Hospitality Management, and a number of
local high school students joined together to help support the international students for this special event.
Performances by student groups and professionals held the attention of our audiences. And of course,
hundreds of international student from all seven of The Claremont Colleges worked hard to proudly show
off their cultures and cuisines. Thanks to each and every one of you who helped them shine during
International Festival 2014!
-The staff at International Place
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UPS Grant Winners
by Peter Saeta
CFIS was happy to award several UPS grants to CGU students this year, to the tune of 6 laptops, one
printer, and one license for a statistical software package called Mplus, with an additional add-on package for
multilevel modeling (this software will support Pi-Ju Liu's dissertation research). We also sponsored two CGU
students and two Pomona students to join the I-Place trip to San Francisco over spring break.
Students funded include:
 CGU student Ju Hee Koh, who was able to toss her 9-year-old, barely functioning laptop, and buy
a new one!
 CGU student Pi-Ju Liu, who was granted the statistical software package. He wrote, “Multilevel
modeling is a potential analysis approach for my dissertation data, but the Base program does not
cover it. As a developmental psychologist, I am also interested in analyzing longitudinal data (e.g.,
Health and Retirement Study dataset) using growth curve modeling. Those are the main reasons for
purchasing the Combination Add-On. The Base program is $195 for students. I hope to also
purchase the Combination Add-On, so it costs $350 as suggested in my application. Thank you for
reviewing the application over spring break!”
CFIS was pleased to support these students through our UPS grants. Our thanks to UPS for making these
grants available.
Upcoming Events at I-Place
I-Place Summer BBQ, Thursday, June 26 5:00 pm—8:00 pm
Join I-Place and the students for a BBQ in the courtyard outside of I-Place.
I-Place July 4th Party, Friday, July 4, 7:00 pm—9:30 pm
We’ll have dessert at I-Place; then watch fireworks from the south side of the CMC campus
International Parents Welcome Dinner, Tuesday, August 26, 6:00 pm—8:30 pm
Meet international parents and families for a casual dinner at the home of John Faranda.
Welcome Picnic, Wednesday, August 27, 5:30 pm
Help us welcome our new international students and scholars and thank our host families!
I-Place Annual Open House, Tuesday, September 3, 7:00 pm—9:00 pm
Music! Food! Fun!
Electronic News
You may view the CFIS newsletter on the
I-Place website at
Click on the link for "Community Friends of
International Students.”
If you want to receive the newsletter in print,
or prefer not to receive the newsletter at all,
please let us know by sending a message to
[email protected] or phone us at 909-607-4571.
In Memoriam
Elouise Brinegar,
Donald Hafner
Marjorie Bromfield
We wish to convey our condolences to their families
and to acknowledge their contributions to
Community Friends of International Students.
Page 11
Community Friends of International Students
390 East 9th Street
Claremont, CA 91711-5905
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