Our Mission

Indy Internationals exists to serve students, refugees and immigrants in the Indianapolis area, helping you integrate into the community, understand the culture and experience life in America’s heartland.

As you come to Indianapolis, it can often be overwhelming: a new language, a new city, a new way of life. It can easily be very confusing. We want to look over the cultural wall and simply befriend you. We want to help you adjust to life here. That is the heart of Indy Internationals.

Who we are

Brad & Christy Nelson The Nelson's live in Indianapolis with their two children, Jaydah and Isaac. They have traveled to over twenty-five countries and have welcomed students into their home from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Korea, Iran, Libya, Zimbabwe and Jordan. They love to share meals with friends from around the world...even if it means sitting on the floor and eating with their hands.
Brad & Christy Nelson

The Nelson's live in Indianapolis with their two children, Jaydah and Isaac. They have traveled to over twenty-five countries and have welcomed students into their home from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Korea, Iran, Libya, Zimbabwe and Jordan. They love to share meals with friends from around the world...even if it means sitting on the floor and eating with their hands.

Brandon Downs Brandon grew up on a farm in rural Indiana and now lives in Indianapolis. He studied at Taylor University and has traveled to 6 countries. Each trip has given him a greater appreciation of food, people and culture, though he still favors a good ole American cheeseburger. Brandon loves backpacking, canoeing and random adventures.
Brandon Downs

Brandon grew up on a farm in rural Indiana and now lives in Indianapolis. He studied at Taylor University and has traveled to 6 countries. Each trip has given him a greater appreciation of food, people and culture, though he still favors a good ole American cheeseburger. Brandon loves backpacking, canoeing and random adventures.

Mark Miller Mark was born in San Antonio, Texas, and has lived in Europe for many years. He enjoys helping others and understands what it is like to adjust to new cultures, languages and expectations. He loves sports, especially cycling.
Mark Miller

Mark was born in San Antonio, Texas, and has lived in Europe for many years. He enjoys helping others and understands what it is like to adjust to new cultures, languages and expectations. He loves sports, especially cycling.

Sven Christiansen Sven and his family live in Fishers, just north of Indianapolis. He spent much of his youth in Europe and therefore has a unique appreciation for other cultures and the challenges of adapting to them. Of all the desserts he’s ever tasted, and there have been a lot of them, nothing beats a rich, thick tiramisu.
Sven Christiansen

Sven and his family live in Fishers, just north of Indianapolis. He spent much of his youth in Europe and therefore has a unique appreciation for other cultures and the challenges of adapting to them. Of all the desserts he’s ever tasted, and there have been a lot of them, nothing beats a rich, thick tiramisu.

What we value

  • Compassion: Refugees, immigrants and international students often face a variety of difficult situations in America for which they are completely unprepared. Our hearts go out to them and we strive to assist them in adjusting to the American culture and way of life.
  • Community: America values individuality. Many other cultures stress community. When someone from a community-oriented culture arrives here, he/she can feel completely alone. We want to welcome them into our community, giving them a place of comfort to call home.
  • Faith: Many immigrants and international students come from a religious background that is foreign to Americans. We appreciate their devotion because our faith is a core to who we are.
  • Respect: Americans easily overlook these people, seemingly making them invisible – and therefore irrelevant. We want our friends to know that we value them for who they are.
  • Culture: Being placed into a foreign culture is more than disorienting. We explain the American culture for our international friends while still embracing the uniqueness of their national culture.
  • Service: We are called to serve a group of people who are frequently underserved. And it is our honor to do so.
  • Fun: Here’s a confession: Sometimes we over-emphasize this core value. But no one’s really complaining!

How we are funded

Indy Internationals and its staff are funded primarily through the contributions of caring families, organizations, churches, and businesses.

If you are interested in supporting the work of Indy Internationals, we would love to talk with you. Just fill out the contact form with your information and we will get in touch with you. We don’t have an online giving mechanism because we really want to get to know you better, not just your account number.