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. Normally, we require all prospective volunteers to go through these short steps endless you will not work directly with students.

Please reach out to us if you have any questions.


Application icon

(We require all prospective volunteers to submit a short application)


References icon

(References sent automatically once application is submitted)


Training icon

(We will contact you regarding your training)

Background Check

Application icon

(For volunteers working directly with students)

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.
  3. Why do I need to attend the New 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 an self-service training platform 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. How will IFI protect my social security and other personal information?
    With the identity theft that is going on today, we certainly need to be careful whom we give our information to. That is why IFI is committed to keeping your data private and secure, so we have partnered with Protect My Ministry. This organization is also utilized by the Southern Baptist Convention, the Lutheran Church of the Missouri Synod, the Church of the Nazarene to name a few. They are a reputable background checking organization, and will be keeping all of the data secure. You may learn more about them here:
  5. 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.
  6. Can I send you the results of a Background check I have already had for work or other organization?
    We will not accept background checks or copies of background checks from other organizations.