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Many thanks to our teachers and leaders, members of the Bechtel I-Center's international and local community who volunteer their time and skills to make these programs possible.

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updated 11/0/314

Classes & Programs for Spouses & Partners
Fall 2014 - October 3- December 12

All the classes and activities take place at the Bechtel International Center unless it says otherwise.


Both new and returning spouses are invited to join us for this introduction to local and I-Center programs of interest to international spouses. Friday, October 3rd, 10:00 am to noon.



Friday Morning Coffee

This informal gathering is an ideal way to meet other spouses and learn about the many options for enriching your stay in the Stanford area. Conversation tables offer an informal way to meet others, practice English and share experiences. Join us every Friday, between 10 a.m. and noon! Also join Cris during the Friday Coffee for Songs for Children, around 11:00 am in the Back Lounge! We each bring a snack or fruit or juice to go with the coffee and tea provided by the I-Center. Volunteers are always needed to help set -up (at 9:30 a.m.) and put away afterward! Everyone (with and without children, new and returning) is equally welcome. Welcome!

Campus Orientation Tours

Tue Nov. 4. Career Development Center. Join us to learn about resources for finding employment or internships & researching career paths. Bring cash, if you like to have a coffee or snack together after the tour. Meet in front of the I-Center at 10.00am. Tour is at 10.30am. Please sign up in advance on the bulletin board!
Tue Oct 14. Campus Tour. Join us for a tour to learn more about the history of campus & the spirit of it. Meeting point: 1:00pm at the I-Center. Tour is from 1.15pm–2:30pm. Bring cash, if you like to have a coffee or snack after the tour. Please sign up in advance at the bulletin board!
Tue Oct 21. Green Library and Hoover Tour. Join us for a tour through the Green Library and learn about the things you can use there. After that we will visit Hoover tower. Meeting point: At the I-Center 10.30am. Library tour is from 11.00-11.30 and the Hoover Tower will usually take about an hour to visit. Please sign up in advance on the bulletin board!
Wed Oct 29. Cantor Arts Center I. Join us for an introduction tour of the Cantor Arts Center. Bring some cash with you, for lunch at the museum. Meeting point: At the I-Center 10.30am. Tour is from 11.00am–12.30pm. Please sign up in advance on the bulletin board!

Spouse Workshops, Groups & Events

  • International Fall Swap. With CCIS Events Ragna & Tina. Friday, October 24, 10 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Get rid of your old stuff & come back things you need! Clean your closets at home and bring everything you do not need anymore (e.g. clothes, toys, books, etc). We will put everything people bring on tables and you take what you like. It’s a lot of fun for you & the kids! Remaining things will be donated to a nonprofit-organization. Free.
    Bechtel Book Club. With Jessica Priestley. Monthly, Mondays from 7:15 – 8:45 p.m. Oct 6, Nov 3, Dec 8. The Bechtel Book Club meets once a month on Monday evenings for a friendly and informal discussion of a novel we have read (or, occasionally, short stories) over a glass of wine and snacks. It's a great way to think more deeply about why you loved or disliked a particular book, and to hear different perspectives on it from other Book Club members. Novels are chosen by Book Club members, so you will have a chance to put forward books for discussion that you are particularly interested in reading. The Book Club is also open to partners - please bring your significant other along if you would like to! For any questions or to join the mailing list, please email Jessica at bechtelbookclub@gmail.com. Book Club is free, but members are responsible for sourcing a copy of the book each month.
    Guys Night Out. With Ulrich Ritter. Join other male spouses for a beer to meet others & share ideas about possible future activities. Contact Ulrich at: ulrich.j.ritter@googlemail.com for more details and the next date.
    Woman’s Night Out.  With Sally Fox. Every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month at 8:00 pm. The Woman´s Night Out is an informal get-together for women & a wonderful way to exchange experiences with other international spouses at Stanford. For more information, especially about the changing locations, and to join the Woman´s Night Out email list please contact Sally at wnostanford@gmail.com.

    Bechtel Hiking Group. With Janina & Viola. Meet other spouses who are interested in hiking and exploring the beautiful Bay Area. If you are interested in joining the group and finding out more about the next hike, email international.hiking@gmail.com

    Pumpkin Carving. With Magdalena Bull. Oct 27th 4.00-6.00pm. Let’s decorate the International Center in time for Halloween! We will share some basic pumpkin carving techniques, provide tools for carving (spoons, knives, pins, pens, etc) and some templates for designs. Children are most welcome to take part in the workshop, but they will need to be supervised by their parents at all times as some of our tools will be sharp. Feel free to donate one of your carved pumpkins as decoration for our Halloween themed Friday Morning Coffee! Free.
    Learn Your Love Language. With LaCona Woltmon. Nov 6th 2.00-4.00pm. Everyone speaks a “native” love language, and everyone wants to give and receive love. Though sometimes we seem to “miscommunicate.” It’s almost like we’re speaking a different “language.” Come learn about the five Love Languages and increase your “love-fluency” with your spouse/partner, family members, friends, and/or children. Free.
    Winter Quarter planning meeting. With Magdalena Bull Nov 13th 2.00-3.00pm. Want to help plan the Spouse Program winter quarter? Want to teach a class at the I-center? Come discuss your ideas!
    Wellness Book & Film Club With Ilane Maximo. Tuesdays 7:30-8:30pm. Oct 14, Nov 11, Dec 9. If you want to understand more about the constantly changing field of health, the obesity epidemic, sustainability issues… this is the club for you. Join us for friendly discussions of wellness-related books and documentaries aimed at increasing our knowledge of worldwide health problems and what we can potentially do to decrease them. Oct 14: Documentary: ‘Fed Up’, Nov 11: Omnivore’s dilemma, Dec 9: TBD together. Contact Ilane on cultiv8health@gmail.com to join the mailing list.

Transition and Career

Film screening: Women In a New Land. With Magdalena Bull, Anna Fernandez and Gwyn Dukes. Oct 29th 5.30-7.30pm. Join us for the screening of this film featuring the lives of four spouses who came to Stanford to accompany their husbands. Created and filmed by Maria Vaccaro, herself a spouse from Belgium, the film illustrates the many challenges faced by women (with and without children) whose lives and careers are interrupted by this international experience. After the screening, share your impressions during an informal discussion with Gwyn Dukes and Anna Fernandez, who were involved in making the film & Magdalena who came to Stanford last year. Refreshments will be served. Free.
Changes and Transitions. With Anna Fernandez. Nov 12th 5.30-7.00pm. This workshop offers support to help international families and spouses to adjust to their new life in Stanford. The workshop explores new roles, new identities, ways of thinking and stages of changes. It helps to deal with losses and to welcome the opportunities that new experiences can offer. Free.
Professional Liaison Workshops for International Spouses. With Henry Lum. Weekly on Fridays 9.45-11.00am Starts October 10th. Provide opportunity for international spouses who cannot work in the U. S. with an opportunity to talk with local professionals in their career field.  Also learn about other careers and interact with other professionals.  Enhance your English communication skills through presentations, discussion of idioms commonly found in newspapers, and discussion of articles of current interest. Free.
Professional Liaison for International Spouses. Meet a local person with similar career interests. This program is for spouses who are not eligible for employment. Application forms are in the I-Center lobby. Free.

CCIS Spouse Education Fund. Offers modest grants to assist accompanying partners in furthering their professional or personal goals while here. For further information and the application form go to: www.CCISstanfordU.org/internationals/SpouseEd.htm.  Submit completed form by Thurs., Nov.13, 2014. Grant awards: December 5 for use in 2015. Sponsored by the Community Committee for International Students.

Work Panel Discussion. With Magdalena Bull. Nov 6th, 4.30-6.30pm. Come and listen to how people in the community have found work. The event will start with a brief introduction on how to apply for your work permit, and what to think about before looking for a job. Then we will be joined by men and women who have found work here in the Bay Area and who will share their job hunting strategies and experience with you. Refreshments will be served. Come with your notebooks and questions for this informal evening at the I-Center. Free.

Job Search Networking Group. With Emrah Gursoy. Weekly on Thursdays, 7:00-8:30pm. Starts October 23rd. A group of professional spouses looking for jobs at companies in the area. The format is a combination of a panel (learning from other internationals who have successfully found jobs) and a support group of peers sharing learnings – we can also do some workshop sessions for resumes, case interview practices, etc. This group is intended for those who are eligible to work in the US (unlike the “Professional Liaison for International Spouses” program). Although our group is open to anyone and everyone, it is more geared towards professionals looking for full-time positions in for-profit companies (rather than academic, volunteer or on-campus positions). This group helps members in 3 ways: 1) Learn from the experience of other internationals that have gone through the job search process in the US and successfully found jobs. Particular focus on “the American way” to look for jobs including how to write resumes, interview and network the American way. 2) Share contacts at target companies with each other to extend network (Lack of a local network is one of the biggest disadvantages of internationals looking for a job). Learn from each other’s experiences interviewing at target companies. 3) Use each other as resources for proofreading resumes, mock interviews, case interview practicing, etc. The fee for this program is a promise to buy drinks for the group when you get a job and receive your first salary payment :)

Exercise Classes

  • Yoga for Beginners. With Magdalena Bull. Weekly on Mondays from 5.30-7.00 pm. Starts Oct 6. Come and join us for a playful yoga class with a focus on conscious and mindful exploration of movement - a moment to stop and connect with yourself and others. Although this class is aimed at beginners, those with an already existing practice are also encouraged to join. Bring yourself, a yoga mat and a bottle of water. Wear comfortable clothing suitable for exercise and stretching – you will get warm! Free
    Yoga for all Vinyasa Detox Flow. With Yuko Ikeda. The following dates: Oct 9, Oct 16, Oct 28, Dec 11 at 5.15-6.45pm and Oct 21, Nov 4, Dec 2 at 4.30-6.00pm. This fun, emerging set to mellow healing music teaches the fundamentals of Vinyasa and Detox yoga combined with flow yoga. Including sun salutations, standing poses, balancing poses, seated and reclining poses, backbends, core isolation and strengthening. Detox benefits: Squeezed the abdominal organs and stimulates digestion and elimination. There is no set sequence and the teacher brings her own style.  Special emphasis is placed on moving into and out of postures safely, correct alignment, using the breath, and learning to quiet the chatter of the mind to find place and inner stillness. Aimed primarily at newer students and those with a casual practice. Come along and discover just how good yoga can make you feel! Please bring your own yoga mat, towel, ice water, and wear a comfortable clothes. Free.
    Yoga for All-Vinyasa Flow Yoga. With Yuko Ikeda. Weekly on Wednesdays from 10.15-11.45am. Starts Oct 8. This fun, emerging set to mellow healing music teaches the fundamentals of Vinyasa Yoga Flow including sun salutations, standing poses, balancing poses, seated and reclining poses, backbends, core isolation and strengthening. There is no set sequence and the teacher brings her own style.  Special emphasis is placed on moving into and out of postures safely, correct alignment, using the breath, and learning to quiet the chatter of the mind to find place and inner stillness. Aimed primarily at newer students and those with a casual practice. Come along and discover just how good yoga can make you feel! Please bring own yoga mat, towel, ice water, and wear a comfortable clothes. Free.
    Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga with Babies. With Yuko Ikeda. Weekly on Wednesdays from 12.00-1.00pm. Starts Oct 8. This special class is designed to support both prenatal and postnatal women with their new baby’s, through all the physical and emotional changes. Come share the evolutionary process of motherhood by connecting with other women, allowing the opportunity for onward reflection, providing a health physical and emotional outlet for your experiences. Please bring your own yoga mat, towel, ice water, and wear a comfortable clothes. Free.
    The Works. With Lindsay Walker. Weekly on Wednesdays from 6.00–7.00pm. Starts Oct 15. Fun and fitness at the same time! Full body cardio and muscular endurance using your body weight with Kinesiologist and personal trainer Lindsay Walker. Suitable for all fitness levels and goals. Bring water and close-toed shoes, wear comfortable clothes. Free
    Climbing Meetup. With Tessa and Magdalena. Weekly on Thursdays from 11.00am-1pm. Starts Sep 25. If you want to be active, have some challenges and have some fun, join the climbing meetup at the new Stanford Climbing Wall, 285 Santa Teresa Street (NOT the bouldering center at Galvez Street)! It doesn’t matter if you have never climbed before or if you’re very experienced, the climbing meetup is for everyone. Climbing is a great sport to improve techniques, strength and flexibility and we will be there to share some of our tips and tricks! Please bring water and wear stretchy and comfortable clothes suitable for exercise. You can borrow harnesses and belay devices from the wall. This group is free, but shoes can be rented from the Outfitting Center next door for $2. Please note that the Outfitting Center does not open until 2pm on Thursdays - you will need to rent shoes prior to the session! Check out their opening timeshere


Classes & Activities -

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Language Classes

  • Informal English Classes
  • Japanese Conversation & Culture (Intermediate level). With Mako Sugino. Weekly, Mondays from 2.30-4.00pm. Starting Oct 27. This class is fourth series from fall quarter. You will learn grammar and useful conversation through Japanese culture; like greeting, traveling, shopping, a way of life, etc. Fee: $5 for photocopies.
    Japanese Conversation & Culture (Beginners). With Mako Sugino. Weekly, Thursdays from 2.30-4.00pm. Starting Oct 30. You will learn grammar and useful conversation through Japanese culture; like greeting, traveling, shopping, a way of life, etc. Fee: $5 for photocopies.
    Polish History & Culture. With Aga Konik. The following Thursdays from 1.00-2.00pm: Nov 6, Nov 13, Nov 20, Dec 4, Dec 11. The course is intended to be an introduction to Polish history and culture. It is divided into five topics which are to be realized during five classes. Nov 6: Polish history – basics of the history of Poland, since it’s beginnings as a separate state (ca. 966 AD) till the Second World War. Nov 13: Polish culture – the phenomenon of “Sarmatism”. Nov 20: From Copernicus to Penderecki – famous Polish scientists and artists. Dec 4: Polish transformation after 1989. Dec 11: Poland in the European Union (2004) – advantages and challenges. Free.
    Italian: Basic grammar and vocabulary for beginners & intermediate students. With Francesca Lorenzon. Weekly, Thursdays from4.30-6.00pm. Starting Oct 23. Italian language from the basics on. By reading some small easy text we will discover or improve our knowledge of Italian culture, vocabulary and grammar structures. Free.
    Italian Conversation for advanced students. With Francesca Lorenzon. Wednesdays from 4.00-5.30pm. Starts Oct 22. We will read and discuss literary works of Italian writers (or abstracts of them), newspaper articles and so on. It is a good way to improve your already wide vocabulary and to practice your Italian. Free.
    Spanish: Low and Intermediate. With Daniela Lucia Jaume Raggio. Wednesdays 9.30-11.00am. Oct 8-Nov 26. This class is for those that took Spanish for beginners before at the IC or for anyone that already knows some basic grammar and vocabulary about this exciting language. We are going to learn grammar, vocabulary and any other interest that you bring up in class. The teacher will provide the books for free.
    Turkish Language & Culture for beginners. With Murat Baday. Weekly, Mondays 5:00-6:30pm. Starts Oct 13. The class provides students with the basic skills to communicate in Turkish and introduces Turkish tradition. There will be Turkish movies and songs

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Cooking Classes:

Please note: For most cooking classes there is a fee (EXACT CASH ONLY!!!).To register and pay for a cooking class, please email the teacher for that cooking class. Ask them about refunds, recipes and other issues concerning your attendance.  The reason for this is that the teacher gets the funds to purchase the ingredients for the class.

  • American Foods Cooking Class: Recipes for Thanksgiving Dinner. With Robert Paugh. Oct 16, Oct 23, Nov 19, Dec 4 from 11.00am-2.00pm.
    MENU: Oct 16: Sausage and Sage Stuffing with Dried Cranberries and Toasted Hazelnuts. Oct 23: Jello Fruit Salad, KoDu Salad. Nov 19: Country Potatoes au Gratin, Sweet Potatoes. Dec 4: Pies – Apple & Pumpkin. Class size is limited to six students. Class fee is $12.00 per class, $45.00 if you sign up for all four classes. To attend, sign up and pay fee please contact Robert rlpaugh@gmail.com
    Hani’s Mommy’s Secret Recipes – Korean Foods. With Hani Hyunkyung Doh. The following Mondays from 11.00am–1.30pm: Oct 20, Nov 3, Nov 17, Dec 1. Korean food is healthy and diverse. I’ll teach you two different dishes in each class. One will be a typical Korean dish, and the other one will be a fusion of Western and Asian influences. All Korean foods learned in this class do not require any special ingredients sold only in Korean grocery markets. Hani’s mommy’s special recipes will guide you to make decent dishes using cooking materials easily obtained from common grocery markets such as Safeway and Trader’s Joe. I hope all the class members will have fun together. Oct 20th: Japchae (Korean Stir-Fried Sweet Potato Noodles) & Smoked salmon tortilla wraps. Nov 3rd: Dak Bulgogi (Korean Chicken Bulgogi)& Fried mushroom with Sweet and sour sauce. Nov 17th: Neobiani-gui( Marinated Grilled Beef) & Potato soup. Dec 1st: Choco chip cookie (for christmas Gifts) & Tuna and apple sandwich. Fee: $15 per class. Min. 4 & Max. 7 students per class. To attend, sign up and pay fee please contact Hani: dhk812@gmail.com
    Healthy Mediterranean Cuisine. With Anna Konopka. From 12.30-3.00pm on the following dates: Oct 3, Oct 10, Oct 17, Oct 31, Nov 7, Nov 14, Nov 21, Dec 3, Dec 12, Dec 19. Rich in culture and food history, the nations on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea — Italy, Spain, France, Morocco, Greece and Turkey —have all contributed something unique and special to the Mediterranean cuisine, which is very rich and diverse. Although there are common elements, there are also some significant regional and cultural differences. Key components of Mediterranean cuisine are the same and include heart-healthy olive oil, protein-rich legumes, fiber-full whole grains, plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood and lean meats. The choice of ingredients, spices used, and cooking techniques vary regionally. From light & fresh, citrusy notes, to intense herbal ones, to rich and warm clove & cinnamon spices— Mediterranean cuisine is full of rich and robust flavors. If you are passionate about food and cooking and want to learn how to prepare delicious, healthy and nourishing recipes that evoke the essence of the Mediterranean region join me at the Bechtel Kitchen this Fall Quarter and let’s cook our way to healthy eating. Cheers! Oct 3: Italy - Pizza with Spinach & Basil Pesto, Asparagus, Artichoke Hearts, Bosc Pears, Ricotta & Eggs. Oct 10: Greece - Bell Peppers Stuffed with Ground Lamb, Herbed Cous-Cous, Raisins, Feta & Mint. Oct 17: France - Bouillabaisse Soup with Fresh Fish, Prawns, Scallops & Clams Served with Vermicelli. Oct 31: Morocco - Tomatoes & Peppers Shakshuka with Poached Eggs & Sesame Khobz Bread. Nov 7: Spain - Sardines & Anchovies Tart with Tomatoes, Olives, Capers & Caramelized Onions. Nov 14: Turkey - Curried Lamb Kebobs with Raisin Bulgur Pilaf & Cucumber-Mint Yogurt Tzatziki. Nov 21: Italy - Linguini al Olio with Scallops, Porcini Mushrooms, Asparagus, Parsley & Parmesan. Dec 3: Libya - Beef Oxtail, Pumpkin & Chickpeas Stew & Baked Tandoor Pita Bread. Dec 12: Spain - Chorizo Stuffed Cod Fillets with Thyme Roasted Tomatoes & Sautéed Butter Beans. Dec 19: France - Lentils, Roasted Beets & Curried Carrots Salad with Prawns, Mango & Fresh Parsley. Fees: Single class $20, 3 classes for $53. 5 classes for $85, 10 classes for $165. Please bring aprons to protect clothes from stains and damage. Bring plastic containers for any food leftovers. To enquire about availability, sign up or if you have any questions at all about the class or menu, please contact Anna at anna.konopka@me.com. Maximum number of students is 6 per class.
    Philippine Cooking class. With Vida Revilla. Dec 4, 3.30-5.30pm .  The cuisine of the Philippines has evolved over several centuries, and has been influenced by European, American, and Southeast Asian countries with adaptation to indigenous ingredients and the local palate.
    We'll prepare soup, entree, vegetable, and dessert. Fee $10. To attend, sign up and pay fee please contact Vida: v_revilla@yahoo.com

Arts, Crafts & Photography: . Check board for details about materials you’ll need to bring to class.

  • Needlepoint Workshop. With Judi Chun. Weekly on Tuesdays from 10.00am-12.00pm. Starts Oct 7. Judi Chun will lead an informal weekly needlework group. Anyone is welcome to attend with any type of needlework project or without (you can come just to chat and/or watch and learn). However, beginners wanting to learn needlepoint (the focus of the group) will have the opportunity to make a needlepoint Stanford souvenir keychain. No prior experience necessary.  Children welcome if accompanied by parent. Keychain blank and thread will be provided, but please bring scissors if you have them.  Cost for keychain blank is $20 per person (no cost if you bring your own project). There will also be samples available of other types of needlepoint work for those interested (pillow, door hanger, frame, etc.). Contact instructor with questions. (This is a repeat of a workshop given in May for those who were unable to attend then. Students wishing to needlepoint an additional keychain, or other project of their choosing, are welcome.)
    Sewing Group. With Nur Turan. Weekly on Thursdays from 1.30pm-3.00pm. Starts Oct 9. Restyle or make new! Restyle or reuse your old clothes and home textiles, make simple new clothes, patchwork or home textiles, students have their own materials and patterns. Basic skills using sewing machines needed. Max. 7 students using the 5 machines we have. It is possible to bring your own sewing machine. Please bring basic supplies: scissors, pins, tape measure, eye needles, threads etc. The use of the machines is free, but if you want to use some of the materials we have, the fee is $10 - or bring left-over-fabric to share! Contact Nur to check for availability: fnur@hotmail.de

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Especially for Parents and Children

  • Baby and Toddler Group. With Cristina Moreno Gonzalez & Diana Chavarro. Weekly, Mondays from 10.30am–12.00pm. Ongoing. Moves from a Wednesday to a Monday as of Oct 6. If you're looking for buddies for your baby/toddler to play with and you also want to make connections with other parents at Stanford, you're all welcome to the group. We meet every Wednesday at Bechtel's patio at 10:30 a.m. We have a singing together activity at 10:45, then free play inside or outside (depending on the weather) and we finish with story time! Bring a song or a tale from your own country and explain it to all of us (you can bring a book, or puppets, ...whatever you want!). It would be wonderful for our kids to hear tales and sing songs from all around the world! And it's also a nice experience for parents too. Contact Cris (bechtel4kids@gmail.com) with questions or suggestions. All are welcome at this informal playgroup! Free.
    Friday Morning Coffee Singing. With Cris Moreno Gonzalez. Weekly, Fridays from 11.00-11.30am. Ongoing. Come and join our singing circle every Friday at 11:00h as part of Friday Morning Coffee at  Back Lounge. We include songs, fingerplays and movement for all kids ages. You are all welcome to join us and bring your own favorite songs to our circle! Free.

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Career, Education & Information

  • rainbow head The Resource Center for International Families provides information about getting settled in the Stanford area and building your life here. Spouse volunteers are available to speak with you in many languages about continuing your education, volunteering, employment, recreation, & travel. Hours are posted in the lobby and on the website.


  • Professional Liaison for International Spouses. Meet a local person with similar career interests. This program is for spouses who are not eligible for employment.  Application forms are in the I-Center lobby on the CCIS notice board across from the desk.

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Contact information

For more information and updates, contact Magdalena Bull, mbull@stanford.edu

For advice, send email to stanfordfamilies@gmail.com

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