Are you interested in meeting students from other cultures? Thinking about studying abroad and want to test out your cross-cultural communication skills? Did you study abroad and remember the challenges that come with adjusting to a new place? Apply to be a Cougar Ambassador!
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 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 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 during the 2016-2017 academic year.
Additional opportunities to assist with all new international students will occur at the beginning of each semester. These activities include: greeting students at the airport, helping students check into their residence halls, and assisting with orientation. 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.
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
- Participate in events organized by the Center for International Education when possible
- Meet or connect with buddy(ies) on a regular basis throughout the semester (weekly or biweekly)
- 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
Senior Cougar Ambassadors
Students who have already participated as Cougar Ambassadors during the previous academic year can apply to be a Senior Cougar Ambassador. As a Senior Cougar Ambassador, students will be expected to help the Center for International Education train the new Cougar Ambassadors, serve as a resource for new Cougar Ambassadors and help organize events during the academic year.
Applicants must be College of Charleston students in good standing (GPA: 2.5+) who show a genuine interest in meeting people from other cultures. It is helpful if the candidate has studied abroad, but it is not a requirement. You must have at least two semesters remaining in your degree to be eligible for the program (i.e. graduate no earlier than May 2017).
All Cougar Ambassador and Senior Cougar Ambassador applicants for the 2016-2017 academic year must submit an online application form and upload a current résumé by February 26th, 2016. Please note that you cannot save this form and come back to finish it later. Therefore, please be prepared to complete the entire online application in one sitting. In order to prepare for the application, you can refer to a PDF version of the application as a reference. Only online submissions will be accepted. The links to the applications are as follows:
- New Cougar Ambassador applicants (PDF version for reference)
- Returning Cougar Ambassadors/Senior Cougar Ambassador applicants (PDF version for reference)
Below is a timeline for the 2016-2017 application cycle:
- Applications due: Friday, February 26th
- Group interviews of select candidates: March 14th-18th
- Selections made by: March 25th
- Training: 3-hour block during the week of April 18th
For more information on the Cougar Ambassador program, please contact Melissa Ochal, Associate Director, Center for International Education.