Everyone likes to eat and everyone likes to be warmly welcomed. You can give this kind of special experience to people who’ve just arrived in your country through a welcome dinner.
You might say to them, “I know we’ve just met, but we’d really like to get better acquainted. Could you come and eat a meal with us at our house? We like to do this for people who’ve just arrived. It’s our way of saying, ‘Welcome to America!’ Maybe it feels unusual to have a stranger invite you to eat with them, but we think anybody in a new place might enjoy making some new friends. Can you join us?”
Remember that many people of other cultures are too polite to say “Yes.” They don’t want to take advantage of you. They want to make sure you really mean it. So expect a “No thank you.” Try inviting them a couple of more times. “We really would love to have you come for dinner. It would be no trouble at all. If you can’t this Wednesday, how about next Sunday?”
Maybe you don’t like to cook. Maybe you feel too nervous to have strangers at your house. You can take them out to eat. Some newcomers might feel more comfortable going with a stranger to a restaurant the first time anyway. You might say, “I’d like to welcome you to America by taking you out to my favorite restaurant. The food may be strange to you, but I’ll show you the foods I think are really tasty. Sometime I’d like to try the foods from your country.”
Try to move eventually to the home atmosphere. ”There’s no place like home,” and you will draw your new friends closer to your heart when you can be in each other’s homes.
You can even get all your neighbors involved in a welcome dinner by planning a “block party,” where everyone on your block contributes some food and gets better acquainted, especially with the newcomers.