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Cougar Ambassadors

Are you interested in meeting students from other cultures? Thinking about studying abroad and want to test out your cross-cultural communication skills? Did the challenges you experienced while studying abroad inspire you to assist others adjusting to a new place? Perhaps your family was host to a foreign exchange student, or you worked in a multicultural setting. Any of these scenarios could make you a great candidate for the Cougar Ambassador program! 

Job Description

The College of Charleston Cougar Ambassador program provides current College of Charleston students the opportunity to assist the Center for International Education in welcoming new international students to our campus and supporting them as they transition to life in the U.S. Cougar Ambassadors (CAs) are matched with one or two new incoming international students and expected to connect with them before their arrival in Charleston. The Center for International Education (CIE) trains Cougar Ambassadors to help answer pre-arrival questions for international students as they prepare for their study abroad experience in the U.S. Once new students have arrived, and during the course of the semester, Cougar Ambassadors will interact with his/her buddy(ies) on a consistent basis to foster cultural, social, and academic adjustment within our international student population. This is a volunteer position consisting of approximately 1-5 hours per week. We will begin the selection process for the 2019 - 2020 academic year in the beginning of the Spring 2019 semester. 

Opportunities to assist CIE with all new international students will occur at the beginning of each semester. These include: greeting students at the airport, helping with residence hall check ins, staffing CIE office, hosting meals at on-campus dining halls, assisting with orientation and other programming activities. The Center for International Education will host some events for new international students and Cougar Ambassadors, but Cougar Ambassadors are also expected to plan their own gatherings with their buddies and attend events organized by the Senior Cougar Ambassadors.

The following is a list of duties expected for Cougar Ambassadors:

  • Connect via email/Skype/Facebook with buddy(ies) before their arrival in Charleston
  • Meet with buddy(ies) in person during the first week of classes and connect with them on a regular basis throughout the semester
  • Participate in events organized by the Center for International Education and Senior Cougar Ambassadors
  • Frequently check CofC email accounts and appropriate online forums for information and updates 
  • Assist, when available, with the events at the start of the semester: meeting students at the airport, helping them check into their residence hall, orientation, etc.
  • Attend all training sessions and meetings set by Center for International Education staff

Desired Qualifications

Applicants must be a College of Charleston student in good standing (GPA: 2.5+) and show a genuine interest in meeting people from other cultures. It is helpful if the candidate has studied abroad, but that is not a requirement. Student must have at least two semesters remaining to be eligible for the program (i.e. graduate no earlier than May 2020).

Applying to the program

New Applicants

Cougar Ambassador applicants for the 2019-2020 academic year must submit an online application form and upload a current résumé by Monday, February 18th, 2019. The link to the application is below. Please note that you cannot save the application and return to finish it later.  Therefore, please be prepared to complete the entire online application in one sitting. The PDF version of the application (below) can serve as a reference.  Only online submissions will be accepted.  

Timeline for the 2019-2020 application cycle:

  • Information Tables: Be on the look out for current Cougar Ambassadors at tables around campus leading up to the application deadline! They will have a lot of information about the program to share with students interested in joining
  • Applications due: Monday, February 18th
  • Group interviews of select candidates: March 11th - 15th
  • Acceptance of selected candidates: Monday, March 25th
  • Training: One 3-hour block either Thursday, April 11th OR Friday, April 12th in the afternoon

New Cougar Ambassador application (PDF version, for reference)

Returning and Senior Cougar Ambassadors

Students who have already participated in the Cougar Ambassador program can apply to return for the upcoming year and become a Senior Cougar Ambassador (not required). Returners will not incur any additional responsibilities by continuing with the program. Senior Cougar Ambassadors are expected to: help the Center for International Education train new Cougar Ambassadors; serve as a resource for Cougar Ambassadors and lead assigned small groups; as well as create and implement a calendar of events per semester. The link to the application is below. Please note that you cannot save the application and return to finish it later.  Therefore, please be prepared to complete the entire online application in one sitting. The PDF version of the application (below) can serve as a reference.  Only online submissions will be accepted.  

Timeline for the 2019-2020 application cycle:

  • Applications due: Friday, February 8th
  • Acceptance of selected candidates: Week of February 11th
  • Workshop with fellow Returners and Senior Group: Week of March 4th
  • Assist with New CA Training: Thursday, April 11th and Friday, April 12th in the afternoon

Returning Cougar Ambassadors/Senior Cougar Ambassador application (PDF version, for reference)

Contact

For more information on the Cougar Ambassador program, please contact Jessica Stone, International Student Services Coordinator in the Center for International Education.