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Air Force invites community to serve as ambassadors to international students

Students talk with AMIGO volunteers outside.

International Military Students and their families interact with Defense Language Institute English Language Center staff and AMIGO sponsors at the picnic June 11, 2021, at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas. AMIGO stands for American Members of International Goodwill to Others. The 2020 picnic was canceled due to the pandemic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Spencer Berry)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – The Defense Language Institute English Language Center here is inviting members of the community to join their AMIGO sponsor program.

Since its inception in the mid-1970s, the American Members of International Goodwill to Others has offered members of the local community the opportunity to interact with international military members from 110 countries and partake in their cultural immersion mission.

“The AMIGO program is vital to the success of our mission at DLIELC,” said Col. Joseph Schaefer, 637th Training Group commander. “It is a way for us to connect with members of the Alamo City and introduce our international partners and allies to the American way of life.”

There is no monetary obligation or time commitment to be a part of the AMIGO program. Interested sponsors will be invited to a monthly social designed to introduce them, and match them, to a student. Sponsors will be vetted through a background check.

From family events to sightseeing around town, sponsors are asked to immerse their student into the local culture to give them a flavor of what life in America is like, as well as help enhance their English-speaking skills.

DLIELC is a world-renown institution in the field of English Language Training and security cooperation. DLIELC teaches, monitors and conducts the Defense English Language Program while providing a look into American culture. Nearly 12% of international military students who come to the states for training start their journey at DLIELC. An average of 80 partner nations are in residence each day.

If interested in volunteering to be an AMIGO sponsor, contact the program manager, Dan Vega, at 210-671-7700, or email daniel.vega.9@us.af.mil.