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Visiting International Student Ambassador (VISA) Program

 

Ambassadors host VISP students from six different countries for dinner in their suite.

What are VISAs?
VISAs are Barnard students that help to welcome and integrate Barnard’s visiting international students.

Where are the visiting students from?
Visiting students come from Barnard’s partner schools in Denmark, Italy, China, South Korea, Ghana, Spain, Australia, France, the UK, and other countries.

Who should apply to be an Ambassador?
Applicants should want to make new international friends; be interested in learning about other cultures and languages, traveling, or study abroad; or simply want to show a visiting student around Barnard and New York City.

What do Ambassadors do?
Ambassadors will meet 1-2 times each semester to plan for the arrival of new visiting students. Ambassadors will also communicate with visiting students before they arrive at Barnard through Facebook, email, or postcards. Ambassadors will participate in events arranged by the International and Intercultural Student Programs Office (approx. 1 event each month), such as cultural nights on Barnard's campus or activities in the city. Ambassadors will also plan their own smaller events, be it a study break, a trip to explore a city neighborhood, or seeing a movie downtown. Some funds are available to help defray any out-of-pocket costs incurred by Ambassadors.

What benefits do Ambassadors get?
A dedicated ambassador will gain skills in cross-cultural communication and social event planning. You may also gain international friends, knowledge of a new culture or language, and most importantly, the satisfaction of making a visiting student’s semester memorable!

How do I apply?
Fill out an online application by October 15 of each year. The application process for 2013-2014 has closed.

I have some more questions – who do I contact?
Email Rachel Romesburg, Director for International and Intercultural Student Programs: rromesburg@barnard.edu.

Ambassadors host an American Culture and Slang Night, complete with root beer floats, PB&J, and other American "delicacies."

Feedback from Ambassadors

"I learned the importance of getting to know people of all different ethnicities, backgrounds, religions, etc. It is a lesson I have learned before but not in such an integrated context."

"I've met so many people and learned about their lives and cultures. I've also learned a lot about the study abroad adjustment process."

"I learned how to appreciate New York again!"

"I learned that you can make connections with people from totally different cultures as long as you keep an open mind."

"It was a unique experience and I'm glad I got to share my own culture and traditions with them as well."

"I have made life-long friends from taking part in the program."