The Findlay International Club is a vibrant and fun loving group of women who represent over 28 countries living in Hancock county. For 43 years this group from around the world have been meeting to socialize and share their experiences as immigrants in Findlay Ohio.
“We’re like sisters,” explains Ping Huang from China, “No matter where we are from, we feel alone in a new country. The group becomes like family, I can ask them questions about the culture, or adjustments they are having. No one understands the adjustment to living in a foreign country like these women.”
The Findlay International Club was founded in 1973 by several German women who were looking for friendship and found themselves in a foreign country, missing their families and culture.
Meeting Each Other -and Findlay
The 48 member club gathers at varying locations on the third Wednesday of each month for a themed meeting, potluck, or event. The meetings allow members to socialize and get to know Findlay. Jill Wagner is the current International Club president and regularly posts community events on the group’s Facebook page, “I enjoy introducing people to Findlay, and making them feel more comfortable and involved.”
Many of the women cite language barriers as a difficulty in adjusting to life in a foreign country. Having a safe group to practice speaking English with is encouraging and helpful in assimilating with life in Findlay. “There is a natural connection among the members,” shares Carolina Benegas from Brazil “plus we understand each other’s crazy English!”
To celebrate their diversity, the club hosts a fashion show where members wear clothing from their homeland. They also host potlucks to share food and culture from their countries. The ages of the group are diverse, ranging from college age to senior citizens.
And as a rule, the group must include less than 20 percent Americans, and the women do not discuss politics or religion. Potential members are invited to attend up to two meetings before joining the club. The annual membership fee is $15 per year.
Jill says that her favorite meeting each year is the September meeting, which is always at a founding member’s home. “It’s noisy and crowded (because our group has so many members). I like seeing everyone together after summer vacations to catch up.”
Regardless of their challenges, the women of the Findlay International Club are embracing their new hometown and now, each other.
For more information about The Findlay International Club
visit “Findlay International Club” on Facebook
or to join email Jill Wagner at email@example.com