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:
- Improve and acquaint the incoming international community with resources that assist with acclimation to Pepperdine and foster a sense of home
- Support international students' success and collaborate with faculty to enhance the academic transition to American higher education to assist with retention and graduation at Pepperdine
- Partner with the University to improve the health and wellness of international students
- Expand Pepperdine University's global reach by enrolling a more diverse international student body and engaging international alumni around the world
- Create interfaith opportunities that nurture heart, soul, strength, and mind for students from all faith backgrounds, and promote an inclusive environment to explore life's biggest questions
- Equip international students with resources to help them prepare for and market their Pepperdine experience for internships and jobs
- Advocate for more University resources to improve community engagement among international students, both on and off campus, that extends during breaks and weekends and helps orient students to Southern California
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. Ambassadors will seek opportunities to acquaint students with local ethnic restaurants, excursions in Los Angeles, sports events, local festivals, Community Engagement and Service, 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 or Drescher campus for the Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 academic year
- International Student Ambassadors must be considered international students, thus may not hold U.S. citizenship, dual U.S., permanent residency or refugee status
- The Trans-cultural/Third Culture (TCK) Ambassador may have U.S. citizenship, U.S. permanent residency, U.S. dual or international citizenship
- Enjoy working in a diverse and team-oriented environment
- Have displayed initiative and self-directed leadership
- Have demonstrated efforts to integrate/ coordinate international students
- Have experience participating in cultural activities
- Have a strong academic record at Pepperdine University (min 2.75 cumulative GPA)
- Have been enrolled at Pepperdine University for at least one year (enrolled no later than Fall 2021)
- Dedicate approximately five to seven hours per week to the program
- Be present in advance of the International New Student Orientation to assist with facilitation in August 2022 and January 2023
- Respond to email inquiries within 48 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 the International Student Advisory Council
- 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
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.