About Focus

FOCUS is a faith-based coalition of Portland community members, area churches and campus ministries. Our purpose is to serve international students, scholars, and professionals from all religions, worldviews and nations and extend unconditional friendship in the spirit of Jesus of Nazareth. FOCUS adheres to the ethical standards established by NAFSA: Association of International Educators, and ACMI: Association of Christians in Ministry to Internationals. FOCUS is a volunteer organization and is not employed by Portland State University.

You can register with FOCUS to sign up for the weekly FOCUS Newsletter and to get more information about FOCUS events and services. Also, if you plan to come to our monthly FOCUS Friday Night special events, you can save time by completing the online registration form before you come. You only need to do it once a school year! We create attractive name tags with country flag for all registered friends!

FOCUS extends a warm welcome to all the new international students who have arrived in Portland for the start of a new school year.

What we do

FOCUS offers a variety of services to Portland State University international students and scholars.

  • Airport Pickups

  • Bible Studies & Christian Meetings

  • Homestays

  • Income Tax Form Helps

  • Friday Social Events

  • Outdoor Trips

History of FOCUS

In 1986 Dr. Fred Wagner submitted a proposal for a community based organization to serve the needs of international students and scholars that was accepted by Portland State University. A desk was provided and FOCUS began to offer airport pickups, home stays, Friendship Partners, and other services. Dr. Wagner gathered other workers, then reached out to students at PSU.

Today, more than thirty years later, FOCUS has grown to a voluntary organization utilizing as many as 100 community volunteers and staff of all ages, professions and any church denominations. FOCUS works hard to always welcome students from any and every worldview, providing services to students without regard to race, gender, social class, religious or non-religious views, sexual orientation, nationality or immigrant status.