The mission of International House Ann Arbor is to be a welcoming community for students and scholars of all nations, to provide residential and educational programs fostering understanding and respect for all cultures and spiritual traditions, and to promote lifelong friendships and leadership skills that contribute to harmony and peace among communities and nations around the world.
Students and scholars come to IHAA from across the US and around the world. They want to succeed in their studies but they also want to connect. We welcome them to our living learning community, our Global Engagement for Understanding (GEU) program.
Inside IHAA are apartments, gathering places, up-to-date media spaces, a cafeteria that reminds travelers of home. There are places of quiet for study, prayer, reflection.
Enter the community and you find more. Here there is talent, energy and dedication. There is fear and prejudice–and fresh eyes. There is a common humanity. Different ideas, different customs, different ways of seeing the world: what blends them all, what brings out the humanity in each, is a culture of respect and understanding.
How do we bridge differences? Storytelling, lectures, shared meals, picnics, retreats: we experiment as we go along, promoting friendships, developing leadership skills. Programs take our guests into America’s heartland and bring the world to Ann Arbor. Local schoolchildren enter to engage in cooperative projects, local citizens to gain a perspective on world affairs, business leaders to make contacts. Drop-ins are greeted warmly. Every week there is an open brown-bag with a brief talk, a tour, and plenty of time for conversation. The spirit of IHAA is magical, infectious.
In our vision, those who live at IHAA leave as cultural navigators, border walkers, and peacemakers. The story of the GEU is carried aloft and seeds new communities of understanding around the world, each suited to its own time and place. We serve as both a laboratory and model, a community of understanding in which there is no “other.”
a residence • a community • a home • a spirit • a magnet • a model • a movement
(adopted March, 2016)