Northern Illinois University

NIU Office of Public Affairs

Keith Epe, Terri Mann-Lamb and Johaina Madum
NIU employee Terri Mann-Lamb (center) was among the 2005 hosts of young people visiting NIU from the Philippines for a special training institute. Here she is shown with Keith Epe (left) and Johaina Madum.

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News Release

Contact: Julie Lamb, NIU Center for Southeast Asian Studies
(815) 753-1595

February 27, 2006

NIU seeks host families for
brief international exchange

DeKalb, Ill. Northern Illinois University is seeking families in DeKalb, Sycamore and the surrounding area to host Muslim and non-Muslim youth and adult community leaders from the Southern Philippines for two weeks this spring.

The visitors will be participating in a training institute led by the university's Center for Southeast Asian Studies and International Training Office. Funded by the U.S. Department of State, the institute is designed to promote conflict resolution and interethnic and interfaith dialogue. Participants are selected through a competitive application process, have outstanding academic credentials and are fluent in English.

The training institute will introduce participants to American institutions that promote tolerance and will expose them to the religious and ethnic diversity of the United States. NIU hopes to place the high school students with local families who have students of about the same age, if possible. Host families also are needed for adult leaders who will be working with the young people.

The Filipino students and adults will stay with their host families from April 23 to May 7. Host families will provide the visitors with transportation to and from campus, where workshops will be held daily. Students will join their host families for breakfasts and most dinners. They will have at least one free day each week during the two-week host-family experience.

Host families will be required to attend a March 30 orientation session, where past host families will share their experiences from a similar program held in 2004 and 2005.

Interested families should contact Julie Lamb, outreach coordinator for the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, at (815) 753-1595, (815) 753-1771 or More information is available online at