International Institure of St. Louis | St. Louis Public Radio

International Institure of St. Louis

A student works on an assignment in an introductory English language course at the International Institute of St. Louis. About 1,100 immigrants and refugees take English courses at the institute.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Maryam Bakhtari trained to be a doctor in Afghanistan. She never thought there would be a time when she couldn't practice gynecology. But as a new immigrant to the United States, her chosen field is beyond her. These days, she's focusing on a different kind of learning.

Bakhtari takes English classes at the International Institute of St. Louis. She’s among the approximate 1,100 adults who take the classes every year. The International Institute has the largest English for Speakers of Other Languages program in the St. Louis region. 

Stakeholders attend a New American Alliance community meeting to discuss ways to better serve and connect with new immigrants to St. Louis.
Jacquelyn Ballard | New American Alliance

Recent immigrants to St. Louis have a new resource they can tap when adjusting to life in the United States.

The New American Alliance is a referral system for immigrants and refugees that started to take shape this past summer.

For example, if a recent refugee needs help finding a job, access to healthcare, or an affordable place to live, the Alliance reviews their situation and connects them to an organization that can help.

Sophie Malik, Roberta Gutwein and Anna Crosslin joined St. Louis on the Air to discuss the sixth annual Jewish and Muslim Christmas Day of Community Service.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Each year for the past six years, people of Jewish and Muslim faiths have joined together on Christmas for a day of community service

Last year, more than 500 people, including Christians and Buddhists, volunteered on the day. This year, more than 800 people are expected to volunteer.

In the past, the effort has focused on forging ties between the two communities in the aid of a variety of different services and non-profits in the St. Louis area. 

Festival of Nations International Institute Tower Grove Park
File photo | Rachel Heidenry | 2008

Those who are looking for something out of the ordinary run of entertainment in St. Louis have hit the jackpot this weekend. It’s time for the International Institute’s Festival of Nations

Food, games, craft demonstrations and, of course, music can be found in Tower Grove Park from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 10, 2011 - For all the fiery talk about immigration, legal or illegal, Missouri doesn't appear to have much of either. But St. Louis continues to be a magnet for legal refugees.

Those, in essence, were the key points made by Anna Crosslin, chief executive of the International Institute of St. Louis, as she laid out the statistics during a two-hour forum on immigration set up by U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis.