PICL Student Partners

How Does PICL Work?

Newly accepted international students are invited to join the PICL program. Students who choose to participate are partnered with a volunteer host from the community (a Community Partner).  Partner pairs usually meet once per month at a mutually convenient time. Together, they explore Plattsburgh and the surrounding area, share meals, attend sports events, etc. 

Why should I become a PICL Student Partner?

There are many benefits of participating in the PICL Program. New international students often experience a culture shock shortly after arriving. Culture shock refers to the difficulties people experience when they are first introduced to a new culture. Your community partner can help you understand and adapt to your new surroundings. In addition, your community partner will help you explore and learn about the city of Plattsburgh and the surrounding area.

What is the role of the Student Partner?

You and your community partner should get together at least once each month. With your partner, you will experience new foods, participate in local activities, and share knowledge about your home country and culture. You will benefit most from this experience if you keep an open mind and have a genuine desire to experience new things.

Just as your partner will be helping you to become more familiar with U.S. culture, s/he is eager to get to know you and your culture. You might share photographs, stories, and traditions that are important to your family and/or your home culture.

What is the role of the Community Partner?

Community Partner is best thought of as a friend who will introduce you to American culture and the "North Country" (the name for this region of northern New York State). We hope that you will develop a positive and lasting relationship with your Community Partner. Together, you will experience many aspects of Plattsburgh and American culture. Since the primary goal of the program is cross-cultural learning, Community Partners cannot provide any financial assistance, including co-signing legal documents.

How Can I Become a PICL Partner?

  • After you arrive on campus, attend the PICL information session during International Student Orientation.
  • Complete the online Student Partner Application
  • Based on your preferences, the PICL Coordinator will assign you a Community Partner.
  • Once partnered, your Community Partner will contact you shortly after the beginning of the semester.

I've Submitted my Application...Now What?

Wait for your Community Partner to contact you. Once you and your partner make contact, it is up to you to arrange your first meeting. ISS sponsors monthly PICL activities throughout the school year, including pot-luck dinners. The PICL Coordinator will provide you with additional ideas for how to get conversation started and what to do together.

Questions, Comments, Suggestions?

If you have any questions about the Partners in Cross-Cultural Learning Program at SUNY-Plattsburgh, please contact the PICL Coordinator:

Michelle St. Onge
Global Education Office

State University of New York at Plattsburgh
Kehoe Administration Building, Room 210
101 Broad Street
Plattsburgh, New York 12901 USA

Phone: (518) 564-3287
Fax: (518) 564-3292
E-mail: picl@plattsburgh.edu