Like others in 2020, the International Institute of Wisconsin (IIW) has been fiscally hard-hit. Donors, both individuals and corporations, feel stress and uncertainty. Despite the challenges, the Institute continues to provide the programs and services that many newcomers to this country, and the businesses that employ them, rely on.
The Institute provides low-cost family-based immigration and naturalization counseling and technical assistance. Its accredited staff and attorney assist immigrants and their families with adjustment of status, naturalizations, relative petitions and travel documents.
Working with the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, the Institute helps resettle people who have fled their homes where they faced persecution for their nationality, race, religion, ideology or social group. The Institute supports the housing, employment, medical, transportation and educational needs of refugees so they quickly become contributing community members.
The Institute coordinates meetings with international leaders and their local counterparts, which fosters a cultural exchange between international visitors and Wisconsinites.
The Institute also hosts classes, workshops and special programs, raising awareness on cultural and international subjects, including the annual Holiday Folk Fair International. Another crucial resource it provides are linguistically and culturally appropriate interpretation and translation services, working with schools, medical providers, the justice system and other organizations.
On top of that, the Institute serves as an information clearinghouse – it is a resource for international, cultural, ethnic, folkloric, immigrant and refugee social service issues, and provide tools for businesses operating in the global market and the community at large.
Through its internship program, the Institute ensures undergraduate and graduate students advance their education by developing professional development plans that bridge the gap between academics and the real world and sharpen their professional skills.