In the last four years, Joan and Eric Dreyfuss hosted two students from Pakistan: Asma and Sham, who studied at the University of Rochester to earn their Ph.D.’s at the Warner School of Education. The students were very busy with schoolwork; however, Joan and Eric spent time together with Asma and Sham whenever they could. Throughout their time here, they enjoyed dinners at each other’s homes, including Thanksgiving Dinner, shopping, seeing movies, and visiting local attractions such as the George Eastman Museum and the Strong National Museum of Play. Joan and Eric offered moral support and provided resources for medical issues. Additionally, Joan and Eric had the opportunity to attend Asma’s graduation and Joan went to Asma’s henna party to celebrate her engagement to a man back home. These experiences allowed Joan and Eric to develop a close, personal relationship with the students. They returned to Pakistan last summer, but they keep in touch via email.
“These relationships have confirmed that wherever we live in the world we desire the same basic qualities of life,”
Joan and Eric encourage people to join Rochester Global Connections. “It is a wonderful opportunity to expand cultural horizons and become a home away from home for international students.” Currently Joan and Eric are looking forward to getting to know their current friendship students, one from Costa Rica and the other from Pakistan.
If you are interested in being a Friendship Volunteer, please contact RGC at (585) 275-8779 or visit the International Friendship page for more details.