The mission of the International Student Ambassador Program (ISAP) is to utilize dynamic international student ambassadors to further develop a supportive global community and serve as advocates for international students at Pepperdine University. Ambassadors represent distinct regions of the world as well as the broader international student body, the Office of International Student Services (OISS), and the International Student Advisory Council (ISAC). The ISAP program is run by the OISS and provides a safe space to discuss topics such as culture shock, intercultural conflict and social perceptions.
Ambassadors will draw upon their culture-specific knowledge, international student experiences, and leadership/intercultural communications training to assist incoming and current international students with a successful transition and acclimation to living in Los Angeles and campus life at Pepperdine. Ambassadors are also delegates and advocates working alongside their international peers, as well as faculty and staff, to ensure that the international student voice is considered in efforts to improve the student experience.
The ISAP Ambassador program aims to proactively collaborate with Pepperdine staff and the greater student body in the following ways:
- Welcome and acquaint newly enrolled international students with resources that will assist with their holistic acclimation to Pepperdine University and the United States
- Introduce academic resources/services to help students academically acclimate, thereby improving retention, graduation, and student success at Pepperdine University.
- Foster a sense of "home" among the international community through social and other engagement efforts
- Explore the health and wellness of and contribute to improving international student acclimation to a culturally diverse environment
- Expand Pepperdine University's global reach to enroll a more diverse international student body and connect international students with engaged international Pepperdine alumni around the world
- Collaborate with faculty to better understand the needs of and cultural influences on the American classroom experience
- Equip international students with resources to help them market their Pepperdine experience for internships and jobs
Ambassadors agree to be trained to field questions from prospective, admitted, and newly enrolled international students regarding admission and the transition to campus as additional support for the OISS team. Ambassadors assist the OISS staff and serve as mentors to newly arriving international students during the New Student Orientation (NSO) and International Student Orientation (INSO).
Ambassadors will also coordinate OISS, ISAC, and Rotaract events that foster cross cultural interactions and engagement (i.e. Pepperdine World Cup, Global Festival, Global Tea Time, etc.). Ambassadors will seek opportunities to acquaint students with local ethnic restaurants, excursions in Los Angeles, sports events, local festivals, Volunteer Center and Campus Recreation opportunities, and cultural talent shows, among others. Ambassadors represent the broader university and are not limited to interaction with students from the region of the world they represent.
- Must be an international student enrolled at Pepperdine University on the Malibu campus for the Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 academic year
- Must have demonstrated passion for advocating intercultural programs and activities
- Must enjoy working in a diverse and team-oriented environment
- Must have displayed initiative and self-directed leadership
- Must have demonstrated efforts to integrate/ coordinate international students
- Must have experience participating in cultural activities
- Must have a strong academic record at Pepperdine University (min 2.7 cumulative GPA)
- Must have been enrolled at Pepperdine University for at least one year
- Dedicate approximately two hours per week to the program
- Help during INSO and support the students' transition into Pepperdine
- Participate in Malibu Reception to meet with newly admitted/prospective students and their families
- Respond to email inquiries within 72 hours
- Be familiar with on-campus resources for international students
- Serve as an available resource for the campus community
- Plan inclusive events for international students on and off campus alongside the OISS and ISAC
- Support the international community by answering questions, advocating for and integrating students
- Attend a series of four OISS Leadership/Intercultural Communications retreats designed to increasingly prepare the Ambassadors for a position of service to the Pepperdine campus community
- Serve as a member of the Rotaract Club to assist with global learning and engagement efforts across cultures, as well as celebrate the diversity of Pepperdine during Global Tea Times by assisting with at least five Tea Times per semester
In exchange for full participation in the ISAP objectives and service hours, ISAP Ambassadors will receive a $20,000 tuition-waiver scholarship. Students must agree to attend required events and complete pre-determined cultural service-hours required by the program to ensure maximum impact on behalf of the international student body. Given that Pepperdine students' first priority is their academics, we strongly recommend that ambassadors do not hold conflicting employment/commitments that may prevent them from fulfilling the ISAP requirements.