For our February 2020 international student spotlight, the Office of Global Engagement would like to highlight our student volunteers in the Global Ambassador program. Our Global Ambassadors are a group of diverse and motivated international students and scholars who are eager to share their culture with others. Global ambassadors are ready and willing to share their experiences and expertise on a variety of cultural topics. To request a Global Ambassador to attend an event, facilitate a cultural conversation, or give a presentation about a cultural topic, please visit our Global Ambassador request page. International students who would like to become a Global Ambassador can submit an application through our website.
Why did you become an Ambassador?
- Namita Chauhan (Graduate student from India): The Global Ambassador program allows us to reach out to the CMU and Mount Pleasant community to share our cultural differences along with similarities in a fun way. Being an ambassador has helped me to enhance my communication skills and build confidence through activities such as speaking on a student panel, cultural discussions in freshman classes, activities with kids in primary schools, language exchange events and much more.
- Awra Alaseeri (Graduate student from Saudi Arabia): It gives me a chance to meet people and talk to them about my culture.
- Shashwat Maharjan (Undergradaute student from Nepal): I applied to be an ambassador to be a representative of my country and be involved with other international students on campus. I did not know where to start so I took my chances. One more reason was that I wanted to develop my interpersonal skills and leadership opportunities. This is easily one of the best things I have been involved in.
What do you enjoy most about being an Ambassador?
- Henock Njodzeka (Graduate student from Cameroon): The best thing I enjoyed about being an ambassador was being able to learn other cultures and people asking me questions about my home country which makes me do deeper research about my country. All in all, Having the opportunity to be able to tell others about my home country.
- Sai Gadaeraju (Graduate student from India): I enjoyed taking about my country in different local schools and also in different classes at CMU. I have also enjoyed the gatherings, volunteering efforts, and much more. The best part of all of it is meeting new people and making friends.
- Namita Chauhan (Graduate student from India): The best part about this program is that I have made friends from almost 10 different countries and have learned the importance of cultural diversity.
Testimonials from past events:
- Jill Almasi-Dole (Fixed-term faculty, Recreation, Parks, & Leisure): The Global Ambassadors Program has enhanced a student engagement activity I offer in my Tourism class greatly! Having access to a group of international students who are willing to share about their home countries is a fantastic benefit. Not only do the students in my class “win”, but I believe the Ambassadors do too when they sit down for a conversation.
- Shannon Recker (Kindergarten teacher, Ganiard Elementary School): We were able to have some CMU ambassadors come into our elementary building. They came in to share about their culture and country. The students thought it was so neat to talk with someone from a different country! They had so many interesting questions for them! We plan to use the Ambassador program at least once a year in our building. It’s a great learning experience for our students!
- Andy Pratt (Museum assistant, CMU Museum of Cultural & Natural History): On alternating Saturdays, the CMU Museum of Cultural and Natural History supports free programming to Mt. Pleasant families from 10am-12pm as part of Kids and Culture (an Art Reach of Michigan program). Local families visit the museums and participate in short interactive classes and activities that promote family education. Recently, CMU Global Ambassadors from India, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, South Korea, Bolivia, and Cameroon volunteered to support the Kids and Culture program with the theme of “Gratitude and Nutrition” by teaching Mt. Pleasant families how to say “Thank You” in different languages, providing traditional recipes, and by bringing traditional clothing, items, and explanations of celebrations and offerings for special functions.