The Office of Multicultural Affairs is offering a new intercultural opportunity, the Global Ambassador Program, a year-long program that aims to foster intercultural dialogues and friendships within Columbia’s diverse student body.
The program pairs both international and domestic students of different races, nationalities, classes, genders, sexual orientations and class years, and provides a safer space for discussing topics such as culture shock, communication styles, intercultural conflict styles, social perceptions and social (dis)comfort. The program has 30 students from 15 countries during its inaugural year.
“This program gives students a safer space for cross-cultural dialogues,” said Chia-Ying Pan, director of Education, Outreach & International Student Support in Undergraduate Student Life. “Students are matched with people who are different from them, giving them opportunities to explore different aspects of their identities, safe spaces for discussing difficult intercultural questions, and the chance to become more competent in intercultural environments.”
The program features monthly themed intercultural events, with themes such as "stereotype and microagressions" or "diaspora." Ambassador pairs are also encouraged to meet up informally to engage in intercultural activities and discussions, such as visiting students’ ethnic neighborhoods that are connected with their country of origin in New York.
The program is open to all students in Columbia College and The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. International students as well as domestic students who are ready to step out of their comfort zone are encourage to apply. The program has attracted many students who are interested in applying for international internships or who have returned from study abroad programs.