Boston organizations rally to support international students

Paper-cutting workshop at 630 Salem Street, Affordable Housing Facility at Chinese Culture Connection Photo credit: Chinese Culture Connection
Chinese story time at 2021 Chinese Culture Connection Open House Photo credit: Chinese Culture Connection                  

By Ching-Wei Lee

For international students who choose Boston, is because high quality school, there are organizations to help succeed.

Some international students come to the United States and choose Boston as their second life city which might because there are a lot top schools. Fortunately, there are some helpful organizations for International or Asian students and people who are new here and offer some services when they need help.

These organizations offer help no matter what their nationality is including Boston Service Center Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center, and Chinese Culture Connection play a vital role for the international student who study in the United States to give them some help when they face the difficulties. Certainly, most organizations not only offering the help to international students, but also welcoming the people who are away from their country and not limited their nationality.

“We cater to a diverse range of individuals, including not only Asians but welcoming all who need help.” Said Vickie Chang, director of Boston Service Center Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation.

“We had experiences that Hispanics who have previously sought subsidies. Our services are intended for those in need, regardless of their nationality or political affiliation,” Chang said. Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation offers the services to help those who have any difficulties includes economy, living, or language issue at Boston. Tzu Chi operates in two Massachusetts locations – Newton and Chinatown. The organization pursues four primary objectives, namely charity, medical assistance, education, and humanitarian efforts. Their outreach typically targets individual cases, with a particular emphasis on supporting new immigrants and economically disadvantaged households.

Chang said there are many examples that Chinese people who need their services, “There was a Chinese worker who came to the United States individually, worked in a restaurant, and unfortunately, developed lung cancer,” Chang said. During his illness, he couldn’t work and had no source of income. Tzu Chi stepped in to support him, offering financial aid amounting to approximately 300 to 500 US dollars per month.

Tragically, he eventually passed away, but even in that difficult time, Tzu Chi continued to lend a helping hand. It assisted with the funeral arrangements, and its volunteers went above and beyond by ensuring that his ashes were sent back to China, as his family couldn’t make the journey to the United States. Furthermore, in the realm of medical care, Tzu Chi has organized complimentary Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) clinics and collaborated with local healthcare facilities to host informative medical seminars.

Additionally, the Tzu Chi location in Newton has partnered with the Red Cross to establish a blood donation center, conduct bone marrow sampling for donation, and establish a bone marrow donation bank. Tzu Chi is an active participant in VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters), a coalition of emergency relief societies. As a member, Tzu Chi engages in emergency response and rescue efforts across the United States. In cases where their own volunteers sustain significant injuries during such operations, the organization provides financial assistance to the victims of the disaster.

Tzu Chi’s offerings extend beyond medical care, encompassing a wide range of educational services. These include Chinese language instruction, public after-school programs, adult education courses, as well as drumming, dancing, and yoga classes. Moreover, the organization’s Vegetarian Promotion Center actively advocates for embracing a more vegetarian lifestyle.

Tzu Chi also has a dedicated TV station to promote environmental protection and vegetarianism. In the project of Chinatown social service station, vegetarian food is distributed to all people twice a month. Recently, Tzu Chi have also cooperated with the city government, government agencies can cooperate with institutions to take care of the local elderly, the elderly can have more connections with the city.

International students who have family members with elderly people at home can find a wonderful opportunity to enhance their lives at the Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center, providing them with a special and enriching environment. This is a non-profit organization that helps the elderly and disadvantaged groups get services and learn various knowledge in this movement.

“We will provide some basic support in life. Some new immigrants or elderly people do not speak English well and face many problems in life, so they provide advice on transportation and housing,” said Cherie Wang, site manager of the Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center. There are some letters that the elderly can’t understand.” Wang said. There are social workers here to help them read, interpret and translate for them for free. It also teaches the elderly to use smart phones, and it is one-on-one in-person teaching, so that the elderly can also be encouraged to learn English.

Elderly people can also come here and become members to exercise for free. The annual membership fee is only $2, and they can participate in activities arranged by the center, such as balance exercises, chorus training, painting, table tennis, and English teaching.

Chinese class at the Little Dragon After school Program of Chinese Culture Connection. Photo credit: Chinese Culture Connection

Not only that, the organization has also upgraded its services to another level. There will also be many lectures here, such as fraud prevention education, insurance education, education on medication, and the most basic legal issues. Senior professionals will be invited to give lectures. There are also activities with the police station, so that members can have a better understanding of foreign social operation models, and teach them how to seek help when they are in danger.

In particular, international students and their members who have depression also have a project to help them do soothing conditioning and day care in a scientific medical way. Members belonging to low-income families will also pay for the government to take care of them. Additionally, there is a complimentary daytime bus pick-up service available.

Another organization called Chinese Culture Connection made a significant in 1999 in Malden, a city that opened doors for establishing meaningful exchanges and communication channels between Asian communities and other diverse groups in the local and surrounding areas. This initiative aimed to provide much-needed support and assistance to the growing Asian immigrant population in the region.

Paper-cutting workshop at 630 Salem Street, Affordable Housing Facility at Chinese Culture Connection. Photo credit: Chinese Culture Connection

Over the years, Chinese Culture Connection has demonstrated unwavering dedication to sharing the rich art and heritage of Chinese civilization with the greater Boston community. Embracing the value of cultural diversity, the organization continues to promote their understandings of various cultures. One of the primary objectives of Chinese Culture Connection has been to foster harmonious coexistence among different cultural groups. By recognizing the significance of building bridges between the Chinese and American people, the organization has embarked on numerous endeavors to create a sense of unity and mutual respect between the communities.

“We offer many opportunities for volunteering and employment that help Asian students develop personally and professionally,” said Mei Hung, executive director of the Chinese Culture Connection. To achieve these noble goals, Chinese Culture Connection has undertaken a wide array of educational programs and captivating art exhibitions. These initiatives have been strategically implemented in various educational institutions, such as schools, libraries, museums, and community centers across New England. By doing so, the organization has been successful in reaching out to a diverse audience and making a positive impact on the broader society.

Moreover, the organization’s outreach extends to students and their families includes children. Chinese Culture Connection offers a diverse range of cultural programs carefully designed to cater to different age groups. Through these immersive experiences, participants have the opportunity to not only gain insights into Chinese culture but also develop a deeper appreciation for their own heritage. Furthermore, these organizations work together for people’s better life in Boston and support anything in their life when live out of their hometown.

About Ching-Wei Lee 4 Articles
Ching-Wei is a dynamic and versatile professional with a passion for both journalism and digital marketing. With a keen eye for detail and an insatiable curiosity, she navigates the world of media with finesse, delivering insightful stories while also leveraging digital strategies to enhance impact.