by Aliyah Kiesler
It is that time of the year again at Drew University when the applications for being an International Ambassador are live online. This is the one of the opportunities at Drew where students can work with the international students from countries around the globe, including The Netherlands, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Pakistan and Kazakhstan. This program will help ambassadors create connections within the community, as well as teach participants key leadership skills.
Along with that information, Nick Russo, the advisor for the International Ambassadors, elaborated on what it’s like to be a part of this group on campus. The group will consist of 25 to 30 students both from the United States as well as international. Alongside the connectivity and leadership skills they experience, the IA’s help at the student orientations for new international students. Russo mentioned that they “assist INTO Drew with being on student panels for visits from global education counselors, work with the International Student Association to hold various programs during the semester, and help our students connect to the university.”
Emily Rosales (‘19) offered some insight on her experience as an International Ambassador. She said, “Being and international ambassador was an amazing experience. One that I’ll definitely be doing until I graduate! As an International Student myself, I know it can be hard and my IAs really helped me through it. So, I wanted to do the same for new incoming international students.” Insight from the students from the U.S. were given as well. Meg Opelka (‘19) has previously served as an International Ambassador and plans on applying again. She said, “I am doing it again and I think my favorite part was learning about all these new cultures and meeting people from literally all around the world.” Opelka described one of her great experiences as an International Ambassador. She said, “I played a game of ninja with all the new students. It was drizzling and some of the students were a little confused in the beginning, but once everyone understood how to play, I saw people who grew up on several different continents, let alone countries, and don’t speaking the same language, and some of them still don’t speak English fluently, playing a game, laughing, and just in general having fun.”
Marianna Severgnini (‘18) described how she benefited from this program. She said, “I know the struggles of moving to a different country with a different culture and language. As an International Ambassador I have the opportunity to help others overcome these difficulties. It is also a great opportunity to make new friends and learn new things.”
When looking for candidates, the INTO Program looks for students who are actively involved on campus, possess a good understanding of how important it is to bring diversity to universities and campus life in America and who want to make this college experience the best it can be for international students. Above all, they are looking for students who want to have fun, which is all any of us can ever hope for when immersing themselves into a group on campus.
For more information or to apply, Nick Russo at firstname.lastname@example.org should be contacted. Many IAs added that it would be beneficial to talk to current International Ambassadors as a good source if one is interesting in finding out more about the program. This program is encouraged for any student who wants to have fun and have a positive impact on our increasingly diverse community.