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Cultural, Social Events, and Volunteer Opportunities


Graduate Assistants on the Global Engagement Team

Charisma Thapa
Master: Urban and Regional Planning


Ann Arbor Blooms Day (Rain or Shine)

Blooms Day
Date Time Location
Sat, May 21 8:45am to Noon Ann Arbor

Registration: Register here by Thursday, May 19. All volunteers must read, complete the “City of Ann Arbor Volunteer Release and Waiver of Liability” form and bring it to the event.

Meeting location and time: The group will meet outside the International Center (Student Activities Building) on Jefferson Street at 8:45 AM to walk over to Liberty Plaza (between East Liberty and South Division).

Description: Ann Arbor Downtown Blooms Day is a great volunteering opportunity where you can help beautify the city and connect with other international students/scholars/families in a meaningful way. We will plant flowers, mulch planters, and help make the downtown areas along State, Main, South University, and Liberty Streets more attractive. Supplies will be provided for planting flowers throughout downtown, although you can bring your gardening gloves and trowel if you have one. Please dress for the weather. Volunteers will receive a free T-shirt and a free pizza lunch after the activities. 


Ann Arbor Restaurant Week Group Dinner

Restaurant Week
Date Time Location
Thur June 16 5:30pm Meet outside the International Center (Student Activities Building) on Jefferson Street.

Description: Ann Arbor Restaurant Week comes to town twice a year (January and June). It is a local celebration of dining in the community. Restaurant Week is your opportunity to try as many great Ann Arbor restaurants as your schedule allows for one incredibly fixed low price. 

Registration and Cost: RSVP here if you are interested. During the Ann Arbor Restaurant Week, Heidelberg is running a special menu (dinner 2 for $28 plus tax and gratuity). You can pay with cash or credit card. If you do not want to order from the special menu, you can order something else off its regular menu and you will be responsible for the full-price.

Questions? Contact Jessica Greenfield at

Chicago Day Trip (Rain or Shine)

Date Time Location
Sat, Jun 18 7am to midnight Chicago, Illinois

Cost: $45 for round trip transportation. NO REFUNDS. You will need to bring money for local transportation, food, shopping, museums, etc. Please note: This is not a guided tour by the International Center. You will be responsible for your own plans for the entire day upon arrival in Chicago. Students, scholars, friends, and families are welcome. Same price for all, regardless of age. Children must be accompanied by an adult and have his/her own seat on the bus.

Registration: In order to reserve your spot for this trip, you must pay in advance at the Michigan Union Ticket Office (MUTO). Ask for the International Center’s Chicago trip. Cash or credit cards accepted. It is not possible to purchase tickets online. When purchasing the tickets, you must present a valid UMID and provide a phone number (in case of emergency during the trip). Limited space is available.

Meeting time and location: Participants may choose to board the bus from either Central Campus or North Campus at one of the locations designated below. Upon our return, participants may choose to be dropped off at Central or North Campus locations.

Pick-up and Drop-off Location Meeting Time
Central Campus: outside the International Center (Student Activities Building) on Jefferson Street 7am
North Campus: outside the Pierpont Commons on Murfin Avenue 7:20am

** Please Note: The bus will depart the North Campus location at 7:30am for Chicago. 

Note: Estimated arrival time in Chicago will be 11:30am local time (Chicago is on Central Time and is one hour behind Ann Arbor/Eastern time). Attendees will return to the bus in Chicago at 7pm local time (8pm Ann Arbor time) and will arrive back in Ann Arbor at approximately midnight.

Description: Join the International Center in a day trip to Chicago. You decide how to explore Chicago for the day. The drop-off and pickup location in Chicago will be by the Millennium Park Welcome Center, so you can plan your route from there.  There are museums, shopping, excellent dining, and famous sites for all interests and all ages. Check the web site in advance so you will have an idea about the activities you plan to do for the day.

Questions? Contact Korisma Grant at

Ongoing Opportunities

Community Service at Delonis Shelter

community service

International student volunteers will prepare and serve food at the Delonis Homeless Shelter. This is an opportunity to see a different aspect of American life than what you are exposed to at U-M.

These will take place on the 2nd Thursday of every month all term. There will be two shifts and four or five people are needed for each shift. Shift One is from 2:30 to about 6:00 p.m., and Shift Two is from 4:30 to around 8:00 p.m. Shift One participants will prepare food and Shift Two participants will serve food. Volunteers will meet at the Ecumenical Center and International Residence on Church Street and drive downtown to the Delonis Shelter. Afterwards, we will come back to ECIR for dinner and discussion.

Service Dates: May 12, Jun. 9, Jul. 14, Aug. 11, Sept. 8, Oct. 13, Nov. 10 and Dec. 8.

Registration Deadline: Three business days prior to each service date. If you would like to participate, please contact ECIR's Volunteer Coordinators at In your email, please include:

* Your name

* Shift preference (first or second)

* Your phone number

* Whether you have a car and could help with transportation, including the number of passengers you can accommodate.

This opportunity is co-sponsored by the U-M International Center and the Ecumenical Center and International Residence.

For a map to ECIR, please see

See Shelter Association of Washtenaw County for more information about the Delonis Homeless Shelter.

American Literature Book Discussion


Description: If you love to read, join us for this scholar book discussion group. First read the featured book, then we'll meet to discuss the story. This is a great way to improve your vocabulary, practice your English reading and conversational skills, learn about American culture, and have FUN! Each book is fewer than 200 pages. 

Date Time Location Topic
Sun, Apr 3 2:30 – 4pm Michigan Union 1920s: The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Thu, May 5 4:30 – 6pm International Center Conference Room 1930s: Day of the Locust – Nathaniel West
Thur, Jun 16 4:30 – 6pm International Center Conference Room 1940s: The Pearl – John Steinbeck
Thur, Jul 14 4:30 – 6pm International Center Conference Room 1950s: The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway

Coffee Hour

Coffee Hour

Description: The Coffee Hours offered in the summer are designed to welcome new international students, scholars and families and introduce them to leisure, cultural and educational activities at U-M and in Ann Arbor. Current students, scholars and families are also welcome to attend.

Date Time Location
Fri, May 20
3:30 – 4:30pm

ECIR Community Room (921 Church Street). ECIR is a 3-minute walk from the Ross Business School.
Fri, Jun 17
Fri, Jul 15

Questions? Contact the International Center at


Last reviewed: 07/16