Community Resources for International Families


Bryan-College Station is a very welcoming community. You will encounter a very friendly local population, as well as a large number of citizens from all over the world. Many people are directly involved with the university as students, faculty, or researchers.

There are several organizations that welcome international family members specifically, as well as other groups open to the general public. Joining such a group is an easy way to make new acquaintances, learn about the local culture, and develop supportive friendships.

This is a program for international spouses and their pre-school children. It meets Wednesday mornings at First Baptist Church, College Station and offers crafts, English classes, fieldtrips, etc. Free childcare for pre-school children is provided.

For transportation to meetings, call (979) 690-7230 (Jo Keeton).
More information at: http://www.discoveryprogram.us, or contact Melinda Hallmark, directorofdiscovery@gmail.com
The Texas A&M University Women’s Club is an active part of the Aggie community, providing networking opportunities and new friendships for women connected to the Texas A&M System and Foundation through interest groups, social events and philanthropic activities.
Membership is open to women who are themselves, or are spouses or domestic partners of, faculty, professional staff, Graduate and Post Graduate Students or alumni of the TAMU System and Foundation (current, retired or deceased).  
More information at: http://tamuwomensclub.org/index.php/membership
Conversational English Classes for international women and their preschool children. Meets Monday mornings at Grace Bible Church, at the Anderson Street Campus. Free childcare is provided.

More information at: http://www.grace-bible.org/connect/international/all-internationals, or contact Becky Burch (979) 690-0537 or beckyburch@grace-bible.org
Raindrop Turkish House is a non-profit 501(c)(3), educational, charitable, social and cultural organization, whose is to introduce Turkish culture into American society and cultivate friendship and promote the understanding of diverse cultures through its unique services to the community, through dialog and cooperation.mission is to introduce Turkish culture into American society and cultivate friendship and promote the understanding of diverse cultures through its unique services to the community, through dialog and cooperation.

More information at: https://www.facebook.com/raindropatcollegestationbryan/
There is a chapter of MOMS Club, an international support group for parents with young children. The group offers playtime meetings, field trips, parents’ night out, etc.

More information at: http://momsclubofcollegestation.com, or Collegestationmomsclub@yahoo.com
Facebook group run By Spouses, For Spouses. The goal of this closed group is to “mentor, help and work together for F2/J2/L2/H4B visa people”. https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/CXIndependentsVisa/
Website through which you can find different groups of people based on shared interests and/or location. Several Meetup groups are active in the Bryan/College Station area. http://www.meetup.com/
Fitness and social group for parents with young children. There is a fee for workout sessions (ask for student discount). Other group activities are free. http://collegestation.fit4mom.com/
 

Both Bryan and College Station have many public parks with children’s play equipment. Many families go to the park for play, picnics, or just to relax, especially on weekends. Parks are a great place to meet other families with children. Check the websites of the cities of College Station (www.cstx.gov) and Bryan (www.bryantx.gov) for a listing of parks and playgrounds.
If you have school-age children, becoming a volunteer at their school is a great way to show your child that you value education, but also to meet and support your child’s teachers and school administrators. Most schools also have active Parent Teacher Organizations (PTOs) where you can meet other parents.

Many U.S. parents also enjoy actively taking part in their children’s extra-curricular activities, such as after-school sports. Depending on the type of sport, parents are encouraged to be volunteer coaches, team parent, team secretary, etc. Accompanying your child to practices and games will bring you in contact with many of the parents of the children your child plays with after school.

 
Check out these free online courses that help you explore the developmental journey your young child is making. Some of the modules also address what to look for when selecting childcare services. 

You may also want to ask the librarian at the local library to point you to other parenting resources.
Texas law requires that young children need to be in a special seat when riding in a car. Through this program, 
families that own a car may qualify for one free car seat per family. 
Contact Deputy Ed Frank, Brazos County Sheriff’s Office (979-361-4906) or visit the website visit the website
The Office of the Dean of Student Life has great resource information on childcare on their website here

Pre-Kindergarten-Age Children
Children under the ages of 5 can attend childcare centers or pre-schools. Most charge tuition.
The Texas A&M Adult and Graduate Student Services (AGOSS) maintains a website that is particularly helpful if you are searching for appropriate childcare.http://studentlife.tamu.edu/agoss.childcare

Parents’ Day or Night Out 
• A&M United Methodist Church
organizes a monthly Parents’ Nite Out, for children ages 6 months to 6th grade. Small fee.
See the calendar of events
 
These local businesses offer drop-in childcare for a fee. Check websites for dates and fees.
• Brazos Valley Gymnastics one Friday evening/month): http://brazosvalleygymnastics.net/
• PowerSports Gymnastics (Fridays day and evening): http://powersportskids.com
Texas State education law requires that all children ages 5 years through Grade 12 be enrolled in school. Parents can choose to enroll their children in public schools or in private schools. Public schools are free to attend, and most children in Bryan/College Station go to public schools.

The Bryan-College Station Convention and Visitors Bureau has a list of all schools that serve the area: http://www.visitaggieland.com/bryan-college-station/schools/

Area public schools belong to either the Bryan Independent School District (BISD) or the College Station Independent School District (CSISD). Harmony Science Academy is a special type of public school called a Charter School, and draws students from all over Brazos County. (In Texas, a county is a larger administrative and political unit that typically includes several communities).

Public schools start at Kindergarten grade (age 5) and go through 12th grade (High School). Some school locations also offer part-time Pre-Kindergarten classes for children age 4.

If you are coming to the U.S. with school-age children, it is best to contact the school/school system ahead of time to learn what information will be needed or helpful at the time you are enrolling your child in school.

It will be best for your child if he or she can join at the beginning of the school year, but if this is not feasible, your child’s school will welcome a new student at any time during the school year.

The contact sites for public schools are:
 

Which public school your child will attend in the BISD or the CSISD is determined by the address where your family lives.

Getting to a public school and home: If ISD policy determines that your child’s school is located too far for your child to walk, your child may be able to ride a free school bus to and from school.

Some schools also offer After-School programs for children whose parents are not at home after school is out. Check with the school your child attends if the school has such a service. In most cases, there will be a monthly or weekly fee for after-school care.