Friends International is here to help you feel welcome during your time in Canterbury. We understand that being an international student can be an exciting and useful time, but that it can also be frustrating and lonely. We are an organisation made up of Christians from local churches, who wish to offer friendship to international students. Although our volunteers are Christians, our services are offered to international students of all faiths or none. Find out about our events on our app: https://friendsinternational.uk/app
Our Canterbury Staff Workers are Baiba Strause-Kalmere and Matthew Archer, who coordinate the activities in Canterbury. Baiba comes from Latvia, is married to Gavin. She has completed a degree in Communication and Public Relations and loves learning about different cultures and organising events.
Matthew Archer coordinates our sports activities. Matthew is born in Canterbury, but has lived in many different countries.Matthew likes playing guitar and piano and teaching English. Matthew is married to Karina from Brazil, and they have three children.
We currently run a graduate training programme called “Reach” during which young graduates undertake and internship with us and learn how to organise events for international students and learn about different cultures. This year we have 1 Reach volunteer – Charis.