Get Me Started

Befriend and serve international students with IFI!

IFI's volunteer application process consists of four parts: 1) Application, 2) References, 3) Training, and 4) Background Check. All four steps must be completed in order to volunteer with IFI, unless you will not be directly interacting with students.  All new volunteers are recommended to start by filling out the New Volunteer Application, linked below, which will guide you through the remaining three steps.

If you have any difficulties or questions, please contact us at .


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Start Application


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(References sent automatically once application is submitted)


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(We will contact you regarding your training)

Becoming a Volunteer - FAQs

  1. Why does IFI ask for references?
    We wish we didn’t have to ask for references, but our experience shows that some very godly and good-hearted people are just not cut out for the “peculiarities” of working with international students and cross-cultural ministry. Also, we want to be certain that our volunteers have time for this work, that their spouses (if they have one) are happy with their involvement, and that we will not be putting any undue stress on volunteers who are struggling with other issues.
  2. Why does IFI require a Background Check?
    In 2011, the Ohio State University asked us to have our volunteers undergo a background check. In order to keep the doors of ministry open, we decided to require it of all volunteers who have direct contact with students in their home or one-on-one outside of their home. The only exceptions are made for students or staff on a university we serve on. In Lancaster, we currently reach students at Franklin and Marshall College and Millersville University. You can submit a background check after step 2 in the volunteer application process.
  3. Why does IFI require volunteer training?
    We want all new volunteers to be equipped well to serve international students and to understand all of the services that IFI makes available to the students. Also, since each volunteer is an important part of the ministry and represents IFI to the students, volunteers need to understand and be in agreement with our ministry focus and philosophy. Currently, we use a self-service training platform in Lancaster developed by IFI: the Global Academy. After completion of the first two steps of the application process, we will give you access to the Global Academy. There are resources on cross-cultural ministry to specific worldviews, groups of people and the philosophy of IFI.
  4. What if something shows up on my Background check?
    We consider each situation on a case by case basis. We will look at the whole picture and take into consideration that it may not reflect your current life character development. We will not be sharing the results of this with anyone at the university or anywhere else.