Roland Grenouillou

Citation
Roland Grenouillou

Material Information

Title:
Roland Grenouillou
Series Title:
USF 50th (2006) anniversary oral history project
Creator:
Grenouillou, Roland
Huse, Andrew T
University of South Florida Libraries -- Florida Studies Center. -- Oral History Program
University of South Florida -- Tampa Library
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla
Publisher:
University of South Florida Tampa Library
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 sound file (35 min.) : digital, MPEG4 file + ;

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Students, Foreign ( lcsh )
Genre:
Oral history. ( local )
Online audio. ( local )
interview ( marcgt )
Oral history ( local )
Online audio ( local )

Notes

Summary:
Roland Grenouillou discusses his involvement with Friends of Internationals, an organization started at USF to assist international students that has spread to various other states. Grenouillou has been at USF since 2003.
Venue:
Interview conducted May 25, 2004.
System Details:
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Statement of Responsibility:
interviewed by Andrew Huse.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
029140152 ( ALEPH )
262479360 ( OCLC )
U23-00176 ( USFLDC DOI )
u23.176 ( USFLDC Handle )

Postcard Information

Format:
Audio

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This item has the following downloads:


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Roland Grenouillou discusses his involvement with Friends of Internationals, an organization started at USF to assist international students that has spread to various other states. Grenouillou has been at USF since 2003.
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segment idx 0time text length 43 Mr. Grenouillou came to USF in August 2003.
124 Experiences prior to USF
3436 Before coming to USF, Mr. Grenouillou was working in Venezuela with exchange students, not unlike the work he does at South Florida. He returned to the United States in 2001, and, after spending some time in Virginia, was referred to a position at USF through contacts at his alma mater, the University of Miami. After attending an annual Friends of Internationals conference in Chicago in May 2003, he made the decision to move to USF.
425 Friends of Internationals
6734 Friends of Internationals was begun in 1998 at the University of South Florida, where it is currently based. The founders' intent in creating the organization was to provide services for international students who were not receiving a lot of assistance otherwise. It has now spread to six different cities throughout the state of Florida with plans to expand nationwide over the next several years. Mr. Grenouillou was recruited by the founder of the organization, who was responsible for bringing him to South Florida where most of the work is done for the international students. "But it's not just myself. There are many many people throughout the community ... who just have a heart for these people and who are getting involved."
710 Background
9314 Mr. Grenouillou was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, and moved with his family to Virginia where he lived from the age of two until the age of seventeen or eighteen. He was fortunate to receive a scholarship to the University of Miami after graduating from high school, where he earned his degree four years later.
1040 Exposure to foreign peoples and cultures
12Mr. Grenouillou remembers that until he moved to Miami, he had never met people from other countries. "I grew up in a place where ... you were either white or black, and most of my friends were actually black, so I think that even prepared me because I was a minority myself, and so it led me to understand ... different cultures." When he moved to Miami for college, he recalls interacting with people "from all over the world and they became my friends ... and I had a special heart for them." Being a Christian, he also particularly appreciates the opportunity to serve others in that capacity. "Everyone is made, I believe, in the image of God, and to be able to help them in any way that I can ... so that's what started [it]."
1316 After graduation
15275 Though he had been hired to work for Arthur Anderson consulting after his graduation from college, his personal beliefs and passions led him to become involved in working with international students overseas. "That's been the path, you might say, that I've chosen for now."
1632 Christianity on a college campus
18The Friends of Internationals occupy an office in the Baptist Student Organization's building. Not only does Mr. Grenouillou share a physical space with the Baptist students, but also a similar philosophy. "All people are made in the image of God ... we treat them that way."
1923 Organization's services
21645 Among the organization's services, they provide such things as donated used furniture to international students who have very little of their own to speak of. Additionally, they often serve as an international student's first point of contact upon their arrival in the United States. They will also pair the students up with local families in order to ease their transition into a new and unfamiliar environment. "I believe that's one of [our] best services ... because it spreads the work [out] ... to involve the community." They are looking to expand their programs in the coming years to include language classes for all university students.
2221 Activities and events
24511 The organization also works to get international students involved in various activities and events in the local community. In recent years, they have gone to the Kennedy Space Center, Walt Disney World, Busch Gardens, Lowry Park Zoo, USF football games, and local beaches as well as an annual international retreat that is held in different locations throughout Florida. Occasionally, the organization invites speakers to talk with students on such subjects as culture shock and finding a job after graduation.
2550 Apartments and vehicles for international students
27191 The Friends of Internationals also provide access to apartments and vehicles for students who are staying on a short-term basis and cannot commit to long-term leases or financial obligations.
28Relationship with the Baptist Student Organization
30338 Though the Friends of Internationals are not linked directly to the Baptist Student Organization, they are a "general Christian organization," and have become more involved with the Baptist students over the years. "We appreciate what they've done. It is a good working relationship ... [We] want to show Christ's love to these students."
3139 Christian international students at USF
33127 Of the 2,500 international students at USF, Mr. Grenouillou estimates that approximately five percent are committed Christians.
3435 Plans for Friends of Internationals
36321 In addition to organizational expansion, they plan to continue working on campus in conjunction with other student groups in order to more effectively and comprehensively reach out to and provide services for students. "Plans? Keep doing the same, but expanding and getting others involved. That's how we see our work."
376 Sports
39266 Because cricket is a popular sport among international students, the Friends in conjunction with the Students of India Association plan to hold clinics in order to introduce university students to the games. They are also involved in soccer and football tournaments.
4018 Cultural awareness
42415 The organization also emphasizes cultural awareness among students. For instance, they have held potluck dinners where each student brings in a dish from his/her native country. They have also hosted parties celebrating the Chinese New Year. "Christianity is the mold, you might say, that holds it together for us ... The thing is that they are shown that they are accepted [and] that we do want them to come here."
4317 Personal benefits
45326 "The work that I have done with students from other countries ... has forever changed me," Mr. Grenouillou comments. "People don't see as 'us' and 'them,' people see as 'us.' We are all the same. We may look different, but deep down ... we all have the same needs: physical, emotional, intellectual ... and spiritual as well."
4619 Student involvement
48168 Of the 2,500 international students at USF, Mr. Grenouillou believes that his organization is in contact with nearly 700 of them, more than doubling their past efforts.
49Religious services
51210 If students are interested in attending religious services of any kind, Mr. Grenouillou welcomes them either to attend with him or he will gladly put them in contact with representatives of other organizations.
52End of Interview
53(please see text below)
5445 Mission Statement, Friends of Internationals:
5546 (http://www.internationals.org/03/03staff.php)
56178 We are committed to helping international students adjust to their new setting, enjoy their time in the United States and help them meet and understand North American Christians.
57149 We do this through promoting open dialogue and discussion that results in psychological stability, spiritual transformation and lifelong friendships.
58353 Our Role: We hope to fulfill our mission by doing the following:1. Offering and arranging for students.2. Securing 3. Conducting free conversational , and classes.4. Providing for students, i.e.: bikes, microwaves, beds, desks, etc.5. Sponsoring retreats and trips.6. Holding group Bible studies.7. Organizing and sponsoring parties and activities.
59259 Friends of Internationals actively seeks to treat all Christian and Non-Christian international students with respect, dignity, assistance and honor. We will never forsake helping a student based on their gender, ethnic background or religious identification.
unicode



PAGE 1

COPYRIGHT NOTICE This Oral History is copyrighted by the University of South Florida Libraries Oral History Program on behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of South Florida. Copyright, 200 8 University of South Florida. All rights, reserved. T his oral history may be used for research, instruction, and private study under the provisions of the Fair Use. Fair Use is a provision of the United States Copyright Law (United States Code, Title 17, section 107), which allows limited use of copyrighted materials under certain conditions. Fair Use limits the amount of material that may be used. For all other permissions and requests, contact the UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA LIBRARIES ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at the University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, LIB 122, Tampa, FL 33620.

PAGE 2

1 USF Florida Studies Center Oral History Program USF 50 th History Anniversary Project Narrator: Roland Grenouillou Interviewer: Andrew Huse Current Position: USF Friends of Location of Interview: Tampa Internationals Campus Library D ate of Interview: May 25, 2004 Abstractor: Jared G. Toney Editor: Mary E. Yeary Date of Abstract: Oct. 22, 2004 Date of Edit: Oct. 22, 2004 Final Editor: Jared G. Toney TOPICS OF DISCUSSION Mr. Grenouillou came to USF in August 2003. Experien ces prior to USF Before coming to USF, Mr. Grenouillou was working in Venezuela with exchange students, not unlike the work he does at South Florida. He returned to the United States in 2001, and, after spending some time in Virginia, was referred to a pos ition at USF through contacts at his alma mater, the University of Miami. After attending an annual Friends of Internationals conference in Chicago in May 2003, he made the decision to move to USF. Friends of Internationals Friends of Internationals was begun in 1998 at the University of South Florida, where it is currently based. The founders' intent in creating the organization was to provide services for international students who were not receiving a lot of assistance otherwise. It has now spread to s ix different cities throughout the state of Florida with plans to expand nationwide over the next several years. Mr. Grenouillou was recruited by the founder of the organization, who was responsible for bringing him to South Florida where most of the work is done for the international students. "But it's not just myself. There are many many people throughout the community ... who just have a heart for these people and who are getting involved." Background Mr. Grenouillou was born in Raleigh, North Carolina and moved with his family to Virginia where he lived from the age of two until the age of seventeen or eighteen. He was fortunate to receive a scholarship to the University of Miami after graduating from high school, where he earned his degree four years later. Exposure to foreign peoples and cultures Mr. Grenouillou remembers that until he moved to Miami, he had never met people from other countries. "I grew up in a place where ... you were either white or black, and most of my friends were actually bl ack, so I think that even prepared me because I was a minority myself, and so it led me to understand ... different cultures." When he moved to

PAGE 3

2 Miami for college, he recalls interacting with people "from all over the world and they became my friends ... and I had a special heart for them." Being a Christian, he also particularly appreciates the opportunity to serve others in that capacity. "Everyone is made, I believe, in the image of God, and to be able to help them in any way that I can ... so that's wh at started [it]." After graduation Though he had been hired to work for Arthur Anderson consulting after his graduation from college, his personal beliefs and passions led him to become involved in working with international students overseas. "That's bee n the path, you might say, that I've chosen for now." Christianity on a college campus The Friends of Internationals occupy an office in the Baptist Student Organization's building. Not only does Mr. Grenouillou share a physical space with the Baptist s tudents, but also a similar philosophy. "All people are made in the image of God ... we treat them that way." Organization's services Among the organization's services, they provide such things as donated used furniture to international students who have very little of their own to speak of. Additionally, they often serve as an international student's first point of contact upon their arrival in the United States. They will also pair the students up with local families in order to ease their transition in to a new and unfamiliar environment. "I believe that's one of [our] best services ... because it spreads the work [out] ... to involve the community." They are looking to expand their programs in the coming years to include language classes for all univers ity students. Activities and events The organization also works to get international students involved in various activities and events in the local community. In recent years, they have gone to the Kennedy Space Center, Walt Disney World, Busch Gardens, Lowry Park Zoo, USF football games, and local beaches as well as an annual international retreat that is held in different locations throughout Florida. Occasionally, the organization invites speakers to talk with students on such subjects as culture shoc k and finding a job after graduation. Apartments and vehicles for international students The Friends of Internationals also provide access to apartments and vehicles for students who are staying on a short term basis and cannot commit to long term leases or financial obligations. Relationship with the Baptist Student Organization Though the Friends of Internationals are not linked directly to the Baptist Student Organization, they are a "general Christian organization," and have become more involved wit h the Baptist students over the years. "We appreciate what they've done. It is a good working relationship ... [We] want to show Christ's love to these students."

PAGE 4

3 Christian international students at USF Of the 2,500 international students at USF, Mr. Gren ouillou estimates that approximately five percent are committed Christians. Plans for Friends of Internationals In addition to organizational expansion, they plan to continue working on campus in conjunction with other student groups in order to more eff ectively and comprehensively reach out to and provide services for students. "Plans? Keep doing the same, but expanding and getting others involved. That's how we see our work." Sports Because cricket is a popular sport among international students, the Friends in conjunction with the Students of India Association plan to hold clinics in order to introduce university students to the games. They are also involved in soccer and football tournaments. Cultural awareness The organization also emphasizes cul tural awareness among students. For instance, they have held potluck dinners where each student brings in a dish from his/her native country. They have also hosted parties celebrating the Chinese New Year. "Christianity is the mold, you might say, that hol ds it together for us ... The thing is that they are shown that they are accepted [and] that we do want them to come here." Personal benefits "The work that I have done with students from other countries ... has forever changed me," Mr. Grenouillou commen ts. "People don't see as us' and them,' people see as us.' We are all the same. We may look different, but deep down ... we all have the same needs: physical, emotional, intellectual ... and spiritual as well." Student involvement Of the 2,500 internat ional students at USF, Mr. Grenouillou believes that his organization is in contact with nearly 700 of them, more than doubling their past efforts. Religious services If students are interested in attending religious services of any kind, Mr. Grenouillou welcomes them either to attend with him or he will gladly put them in contact with representatives of other organizations. End of Interview (please see text below)

PAGE 5

4 Mission Statement, Friends of Internationals: (http://www.internationals.org/03/03 staff.php) We are committed to helping international students adjust to their new setting, enjoy their time in the United States and help them meet and understand North American Christians. We do this through promoting open dialogue and discussion that re sults in psychological stability, spiritual transformation and lifelong friendships. Our Role: We hope to fulfill our mission by doing the following: 1. Offering and arranging friendships with North Americans for students. 2. Securing free airport transportation. 3. Conducting free conversational English Sp anish and German classes. 4. Providing household and personal items for students, i.e.: bikes, microwaves, beds, desks, etc. 5. Sponsoring retreats and trips. 6. Holding group Bible studies. 7. Organizing and sponsoring parties and activities. Friends of Internationals actively seeks to treat all Christian and Non Christian international students with respect, dignity, assistance and honor. We will never forsak e helping a student based on their gender, ethnic background or religious identification.


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