About the Program
The International Student Ambassadors program is overseen by the UCLA Dashew Center for International Students & Scholars. International Student Ambassadors are UCLA students that use their own cultural backgrounds, experiences, and knowledge to support the UCLA community. Selected Ambassadors undergo an application, interview, and training process. The Ambassadors serve on one of five specialized committees where they work on quarter or year-long projects. Through their work, the Ambassadors work to amplify the visibility, voices, and contributions of the entire UCLA international community.
Some ways that members of the UCLA community can connect with the International Student Ambassadors include:
- Incoming students and scholars may contact Ambassadors to ask about life on the UCLA campus
- International students and scholars may contact Ambassadors to connect with someone from their home country/region/culture
- Domestic students may reach out to an Ambassador with questions before studying abroad in their home country
- Staff and faculty may reach out to request Ambassador participation in panels, orientations, events, etc.
- Attend one of the quarterly events hosted by the Ambassadors to bring the entire UCLA community together and connect across cultures
Follow the International Student Ambassadors on Instagram! & Watch our latest Information Session (Spring 22)
Ask the International Student Ambassadors!
The UCLA International Student Ambassadors can respond directly to the questions you submit through this form. You will receive an email with a response to your question within 3-5 business days.
Ambassadors will use their own experiences and campus knowledge to answer questions about:
- Student life
- Campus resources
- What it's like to transition to life in the U.S., in Los Angeles, and at UCLA
- Their experiences living outside of the U.S. and in their home country
- Differences between U.S. culture and the culture in their home country
Staff and Faculty can submit requests for Ambassador participation in:
- Q & A sessions
- and more
Questions Ambassadors can NOT answer include:
- Anything visa or immigration-related
- Anything about accessing iSTART (online international orientation)
- General Dashew Center programming questions
- You are encouraged to reach out directly to Dashew Center with these questions. You can find our full contact list here: https://internationalcenter.ucla.edu/contact-us
The form is open! Please reach out to get in touch with the 2022 - 2023 Ambassadors.
Ambassadors by Home Country/Region
Looking to find support or ask questions to an international student ambassador from your home country/region? Get to know the team!
International Student Ambassador applications for the '22 - '23 academic year are now closed.
How do I apply? Applications for International Student Ambassadors for the 2022 - 2023 academic year are now closed.
COVID-19 Adjustments: Adjustments to the program may be made in accordance with UCLA guidelines. Ambassadors are expected to be flexible and work to adapt accordingly if the program structure must change. All changes will be communicated to Ambassadors as soon as information becomes available.
- Open to all currently enrolled UCLA students who have spent 3+ years living in the country they are applying to represent.
- Must have completed at least three quarters at UCLA by the end of the 2021 - 2022 academic year.
- Must be an enrolled student for the 2022 - 2023 academic year.
- Ability to display initiative and self-directed leadership.
- Must value working in a diverse and team-oriented group.
- Have a strong interest in developing cross-cultural relationships and advocating on behalf of the international students at UCLA.
The committees for the 2022-2023 academic year are as follows:
1. Graduate Student Committee
2. Student Wellness Committee
3. International Student Advocacy Committee
4. Campus Outreach & Inclusion Committee
5. Our Voice Committee
*The deadline to submit this application is Monday, April 18th by 5 PM PT (Week 4, Spring 2022). For inquiries, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please review the FAQs and ensure you are able to meet all International Student Ambassador Expectations below before applying.
- What is the duration of the Ambassador position? June 2022 - June 2023
- What is the weekly time commitment? Approximately 1 - 5 hours per week
- I'm currently an international, third culture/TCK, first year, grad, transfer, and/or out-of-state student, can I apply? Yes!
- Is this position still open if classes are remote in 2022-2023? Yes! The program will operate remotely.
- If classes are remote, do I need to live near UCLA to be an Ambassador? No. If classes are remote, International Student Ambassador obligations will also be remote.
- What do you look for in Ambassador applicants? We look for students who have experience and/or interest in expanding their management experience, event planning skills, cultural sensitivity and empathy, intercultural communication competence, technical skills, professional development and more. Candidates should be interested in being a resource to campus and helping to advocate for the needs of the international community.
- Is this a paid position?For the first time, the '22 - '23 cohort of International Student Ambassadors will receive a modest stipend for their contributions. More details are forthcoming.
- What else should I know before applying? Ensure you can meet all Ambassador expectations below before applying.
International Student Ambassador Expectations:
- Dedicate one year to the International Student Ambassador Program (June 2022 - June 2023). The summer commitments will be minimal and virtual.
- Attend mandatory New Ambassador Meeting during Week 10 of Spring Quarter 2022.(In-person, details TBD)
- Attend regular bi-weeklymeetings during the academic year.
- Actively serve on one Ambassador Committee.
- Respond to emails from coordinators and students within 72 hours.
- Participate in the Ambassador Leadership Orientation on October 1st and 2nd, 2022. (More information will be provided closer to the date.)
- Volunteer at the Dashew Center's Fall Welcome Event.
- Attend the quarterly Ambassador event.
- Attend a minimum of two Dashew Center event per quarter as an Ambassador.
- Maintain involvement and communication with cultural/country-associated student groups on campus.
- Serve on panels, interviews, focus groups and media projects for the campus and community at-large.
- Assist with outreach and other special projects as needed.
- New Ambassador Meeting – Week 10, Spring 2022 (Date/Time TBD)
- Ambassador Leadership Orientation – October 1 - 2, 2022 (All Day)
- Dashew Center Fall Welcome Event – Fall Quarter 2022 (Date/Time TBD)
- Quarterly Ambassador Event – Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023
- Dashew Center Events – Varies (attend 2 per quarter)
Meet the Ambassadors
Home: Amman, Jordan and Manama, Bahrain
Major: Mathematics of Computation
Minor: Digital Humanities
Hobbies & Interests: Liverpool FC, Food, Cross Country, Chess, Watching TV, Sleeping
Bio: Hey! My name is Adnan and I have lived in Bahrain for ten years, then in Jordan for eight years. In my free time, I enjoy watching and playing football (soccer!), running cross country, sleeping, playing chess and watching TV shows, my favorite shows being Money Heist and Prison Break. My favorite Arabic dish by far is Maqluba (Google it!), and my favorite color is green. Deciding to attend UCLA was a huge deal for me, because it meant being far away from my family, but after some time I was able to find my own family here and I am glad that I made that decision. If you want to talk about anything, whether you have a million zillion questions about UCLA, or just to have a chill conversation about football (no I will not call it soccer), please do contact me!
Home: Cuttack and Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
Majors: Neuroscience and Psychology
Hobbies/Interests: Photography, Ukulele, Badminton, Food, Music
Bio: Hello hello! My name’s Akshata and I’ve lived in a beautiful state called Odisha (India) all my life. I love clicking pictures of everything, trying new cuisines, going on midnight walks, and of course talking to people (I will admit that I’m shy at first but give me a while :p); I’ve always loved working with people on subjects I deeply feel for, and coming from such a diverse country has brought with it exposure, appreciation, and great interest in learning about cultures and various ways of living that people around the world have. For me, coming to UCLA had its challenges, but it’s as fun as you make it. The transition can feel overwhelming at times, and it may take a toll on you in several ways, but I want you to know that there are several resources that can help, and I’m here every step of the way if you ever need someone to talk to!
Ellen (Liang-Yi) Tsai
Home: Taipei/Taichung, Taiwan
Major: Computational and Systems Biology
Minor: Society and Genetics
Hobbies/Interests: Watching musicals and volleyball, photography, cooking, playing the guitar
Bio: Hi there, this is Ellen! I was born and raised in Taipei, but my family moved to Taichung just before I came to UCLA. I went to a local high school in Taipei, so I had a rather different high school experience from most of my cohorts here at UCLA. At UCLA, I’m an undergraduate researcher studying human genetics with computational methods, and I’m also a part of SwabSeq, the UCLA COVID19 testing laboratory. Other than that, I enjoy watching musicals and volleyball games, photography, and playing the guitar. If you’re curious about anything at UCLA, feel free to reach out to me! I’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you have.
Home: New Territories, Hong Kong
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Hobbies/Interests: Football, Music, Photography, Languages
Bio: Hi everyone, I’m Matthias (or just Mat)! I’m Korean but was born and raised in Hong Kong. I took GCSEs and the IB (International Baccalaureate) in secondary school and am currently pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering. In my free time, I love watching and playing football (soccer), taking pictures, playing the guitar or bass, and learning languages. I speak Korean, English, German, and some Mandarin. With Hong Kong being extremely different to LA in terms of culture and environment, I’ve experienced lots of adaptation and shocks, and would be more than happy to share my experiences with you or help you with your own transition to UCLA. Whether you’d like to chat about Hong Kong, class planning, or the best food spots in LA, feel free to reach out at any time!
Home: Perm, Moscow - Russia
Major: Computational and Systems Biology; Mathematics
Hobbies/Interests: Film photography, specialty coffee, running, indie music, philosophy, mathematics/physics and broader theoretical academia
Bio: Hi! My name is Oliver and I was born in Perm, a city in Russia nearby the Ural Mountains, but lived in Moscow and spent my late teenage years in United Kingdom, attending the boarding school in Oxford. Traveling from the young age and born in the Post-Soviet Russia, I know how difficult it can be to establish and align with your cultural identity, especially amidst current political climate, so I am here to listen if you ever find yourself at the crossroads of different backgrounds that sometimes counteract with each other. Attending UCLA has been a very interesting chapter in my life and, as a senior, I am happy to help with any questions you might have about life at UCLA and broader USA. I have too many interests, and it's hard to highlight one, but I enjoy reading political philosophy, listening and playing Australian psychedelic rock (I play electric guitar!) and film photography. I am also a president of the Russian Speaking Association, so you can see me at general meetings/broader events including cultural celebrations & fundraisers, so don't hesitate to contact me :)
Home: City: Suwon & Seoul | Country: South Korea
Major: Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology (MCDB)
Hobbies/Interests: Cooking, spending time with my dog
Bio: Hey, this is Seohyun! I was born in Seoul, South Korea, spent 5 years of my childhood in São Paulo, Brazil, but mainly spent most of my life in Suwon, South Korea. I went to an IB (International Baccalaureate) international school my entire life before coming to UCLA. In my free time, I love to cook for my family or go on a walk with my dog. Moving thousands of miles alone for college was at first frightening, but I’m more than grateful for the people I’ve met and experiences I’ve made so far. If there’s any questions I can answer, please feel free to reach out!
Home: Bangkok, Thailand
Degree: Master of Public Policy
Bio: Hi everyone! My name is Kongpob Leemingsawat, and I am from Thailand. I am a graduate student studying public policy, and I also received my Bachelor degree in Public Affairs from UCLA. I love playing basketball, lifting, and playing music. I understand how hard it could be for international students in transitioning to the new environment, so please feel free to contact me if you ever need help with your transition to UCLA or even need a good spot for Thai food around LA!
Martín González Cabello
Home: Madrid, Spain
Degree: PhD Operations Management
Hobbies/Interests: Before I had kids I used to travel a lot. I love reading and I really enjoy music. Also I am a huge Real Madrid fan.
Bio: I’m a PhD student at the Decisions, Operations and Technology Management department at Anderson School of Management. Prior to joining UCLA I lived in Chile where I was working at a healthcare company but I also lived in New York, Boston, Riyadh, Rio de Janeiro, Medellin, Chicago among other cities. I am married and I have two kids: Carlota who is 4 years old and Martin who is 2.
Home: Aichi and Tokyo, Japan
Degree: Master of Public Policy
Hobbies/Interests: Travel, Hiking, Workout, and Games
Bio: I was born in Aichi, Japan. I moved to Tokyo when I entered university and have since worked in Tokyo and Kobe. Before joining UCLA, I worked in rural environments and social infrastructure in Japan, so I have insight into traditional Japanese culture and farming communities. I am also interested in soft cultures, such as manga and video games as a hobby, so I can also talk about these. Don't hesitate to contact me if you want to learn more about Japanese culture. Also, if you have any concerns about living in the U.S. from Japan, please feel free to ask me as I may be able to help you from my own experience.
Home: Beirut, Lebanon
Degree: Master in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Hobbies/Interests: I enjoy playing sports, chess.... I like to go out and discover the area. I like to go to premieres and watch movies. I like to go to TV sets and watch reality TV.
Bio: Hi! My name is Omar, and I am from Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. I am pursuing my master’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering here at UCLA. Last year was my first year living on my own. It hasn’t been easy leaving home, and I know it’s not, but trust me it’s rewarding. In my free time, I enjoy watching some tennis, soccer and basketball. Also, I am learning how to play tennis but I’m still a beginner. I love reading and enjoy watching movies and tv shows (not during the quarter though because I’d binge-watch all of Netflix). I recently watched Stranger Things and I definitely recommend it. My favorite cuisine is Mediterranean cuisine (can definitely recommend a couple in LA) but I also love Italian and Japanese (I would eat anything though don’t get me wrong). Feel free to reach out to me should you have any questions! I will respond as soon as possible!
Home: Pune (City), Maharashtra (State), India
Degree: Master's in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Hobbies/Interests: Traveling and exploring places :)
Bio: Hi! I am Siddhant and was born in India. I have worked in a diverse set of fields spanning different geographies. My interest lies in the field of Machine Learning and Data Science. I did my undergraduate studies at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) - Pilani, India and undergraduate thesis from Technische Universität Dresden, Germany. I was a part of an exchange program with Hiroshima University, Japan. I love traveling and have visited 12 countries till now. Staying in different countries has exposed me to different cultures and experiences. I hope during your studies at UCLA, you build memories that last throughout your lifetime. Looking forward to exploring more and meeting new people. Please, feel free to get in touch :)
Home: Lahore, Pakistan
Major: Economics and Public Affairs
Hobbies/Interests: Track and Field, running, soccer, backpacking, outdoor adventure, politics/public policy, reading, stocks/investing, business & current affairs
Bio: Hello! My name is Ali and I was born and raised in Lahore, Pakistan. Currently, at UCLA, I’m a sophomore interested in economic development, public policy, value investing and entrepreneurship. I love sports, current affairs, traveling, reading, food and connecting with people. Moving to LA was a huge transition for me but over time, I was able to make it my second home. And I hope you’re able to this too! Stepping outside one’s comfort zone opens up opportunities for diverse new experiences with amazing new people. If you ever have any questions or need advice on anything, please feel free to reach out to me! I would love to get to know you and help you out with anything you need!
Home: Zhejiang, China
Major: Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics
Minor: Food Study
Hobbies/Interests: I LOVE traveling
Bio: I have been studying abroad in the US since middle school. I enjoy baking, cooking, and design my own recipes. In the future I'm designated to go to med school, eventually become a medical oncologist.
Home: Seoul, South Korea
Major: Political Science; Business Economics
Hobbies/Interests: boxing, dancing, journaling, watching k-drama, eating
Bio: Hi! I'm Shannon, a rising junior studying business and political science. I love the Korean culture I was born and raised in, and I am eager to help the Korean community and culture at UCLA thrive. Whether it is dancing to K-pop, enjoying Korean food at K-town, or teaching my friends the Korean language, I am proud of the large Korean culture here at Los Angeles and our UCLA campus. I also love to meet new people and will do my best to help you, so please feel free to reach out!
Yara Abi Karam
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Hobbies/Interests: Travel, music, tennis, reading, watching TV shows
Bio: Hi! My name is Yara Abi Karam and I'm a second-year Mechanical Engineering major. I grew up in Lebanon and speak English, French, and Arabic fluently. I love traveling, listening to music (especially attending concerts), going on road-trips, and playing tennis. Moving to a different country on your own definitely comes with challenges, but UCLA offers many resources that will make it a lot easier, the Dashew Center being one of them. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions but also if you just want to hang out or try some Lebanese food ;)
Home: Shanghai, China
Major: Geography/Environmental Studies (minor: Environmental Systems and Society)
Hobbies/Interests: I enjoy anything related to visual art and digital art. I am learning graphic design software and trying to integrate the concept of environmental conservation into landscape architecture. In my free time, I like visiting to museums, art galleries, or exhibitions. My hobbies include playing ukulele, painting, and hiking.
Bio: Hello, my name is Yuan and I was born in Shanghai, China. I am studying Geography and Environmental Studies with a wide range of interests in ecological conservation and urban studies. I spent my first two years of college life at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and then transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles. When I first arrived at UCLA, I hadn’t had a chance to have a campus tour, but luckily I attended new students' orientation activities that were hosted by the Dashew Center. I understand adjusting to a new environment takes time and sometimes faces lots of challenges, especially when we are far away from home. Feel free to reach out to me if you would like any help to ease your transition to this big family or just have a chill conversation!
Home: Mumbai, India | Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam | Hong Kong
Major: Business Economics and Statistics
Hobbies/Interests: Running and hiking, weight training, badminton, meditating, biking, socializing and meeting new people!
Bio: Hey everyone, I'm Agastya (nickname is Aggy)! Having been born in India and living there for 8 years, then moving to Vietnam and living there for 5 years, then moving to Hong Kong and living there for 5 years, and now at UCLA, I have experienced a fair share of what it's like to move countries and adapt to new cultures, to say the least. I've experienced first-hand both the excitement and the difficulties that comes with it. In my free time at UCLA, I enjoy going to the gym, eating out on weekends, going to Santa Monica, and just chilling on campus since the campus is genuinely beautiful. Feel free to reach out, always happy to answer any questions and get to know you!
Home: Shijiazhuang, China
Major: Cognitive Science
Minor: Film, Television, and Digital Media
Hobbies/Interests: Dancing, watching movies, having random conversations with people
Bio: Hi everyone! My name is Arianna and I was born in Shijiazhuang, a city in northern China. I went to an international high school in Costa Rica, so I know what it feels like to live in a different, diverse environment. If you have any questions about moving to a new place, navigating UCLA, or just wanna hang out, please don't hesitate to reach out to me! I'm excited to meet you!
Carolina Cavalcanti Carvalho
Home: São Paulo, Brazil
Major: Pre-International Development Studies
Hobbies/Interests: Traveling, fashion, reading, road trips, going to the beach.
Bio: Hello, my name is Carolina. I am from São Paulo, Brazil. I am a pre-International Development Studies hoping to double major in Communication. I’ve also lived two years in New York. I know how hard it is to move to a new country and adapt to a new culture so I am here to help UCLA international students find their places around campus.
Mona Abdul Samad
Home: Beirut, Lebanon and Manama, Bahrain
Hobbies/Interests: I enjoy playing the piano, tennis as well as dancing. I love traveling, meeting new people and discovering LA!
Bio: Hey everyone! My name is Mona, I am French educated Lebanese, and have lived in Bahrain for 5 years. Deciding to attend UCLA was a huge step of change for me and it was the best decision I could have made! I would love to be here for you and support you to make this place your home too! Feel free to reach out about any questions you have.
Home: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Major: Statistics, Public Health Minor
Hobbies/Interests: Cross-stitching, crochet, baking, exploring museums and art galleries
Bio: Hello there! I'm Sarah and I was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur. In my free time, I love exploring museums, watching movies, cross-stitching, and crocheting! Coming to UCLA in my freshman year was the first time that I've lived outside of Malaysia, so I completely understand if you have any concerns about moving to a new country. If you have any questions or concerns about moving to UCLA, or if you just need someone to talk to, please don't hesitate to contact me!
Emilia Barriga Cortez
Home: Quito, Ecuador. Lima, Peru
Hobbies/Interests: Baking, reading, traveling, and learning new languages.
Bio: Hi! My name is Emilia Barriga Cortez. I was born in Quito, Ecuador, and I’ve also lived in New York and Lima, Peru. Going to UCLA was one of the hardest and best decisions as it allowed me to meet new people and explore many of my interests. Living in various countries allowed me to understand the struggles and anxieties of moving abroad. Please reach with if you any questions or advice!
Home: Kharkiv, Ukraine
Major: Computer Science and Engineering
Hobbies/Interests: Rock-climbing, Physics, Chinese, Travelling
Bio: Hello! I'm Illia and I grew up in Kharkiv, Ukraine! I know four languages (Ukrainian, Russian, English, and Chinese), and I'm passionate about studying Computer Science and Physics. When I have some time on my hands, I like rock-climbing, exploring new places in LA, and trying new food. UCLA has already become my second home, and I'm happy to help you get the best experience here!
Home: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Major: Human Biology and Society
Hobbies/Interests: Walking and window shopping at target. I'm interested in dentistry.
Bio: My name is Khang. I'm currently a Pre-health student, focusing on dentistry. I hope to become a dentist in the future. In my free time, I love going out and trying new foods and bobas. My favorite food is Com Suon.
Home: Mainz, Germany
Major: Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology (MCDB); Anthropology
Minor: Biomedical Research
Hobbies/Interests: Archery, language-learning, art, reading, playing piano/guitar.
Bio: Hello! My name is Ronida and I come from Mainz, Germany, which is about half an hour away from Frankfurt. I’ve also lived in Switzerland for a few years and traveled to several other countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America. I attended the Frankfurt International School and moved to the US when I was accepted to UCLA. Academically, I’m very excited about the advances made in scientific and medical research. In my free time, I love playing archery, painting, and learning new languages. I’m also an avid reader, picking everything from classical literature to fantasy novels. I’d like to make you feel welcome at your new home at UCLA, so if you have any questions about our beautiful campus, MCDB, Germany, Switzerland, or have any good book recommendations, feel free to reach out to me!
Home: Amritsar, India
Major: Global Studies
Minor: Entrepreneurship; Public Affairs
Hobbies/Interests: Rifle-shooting, Adventure Sports, Abstract and Mandala Art,
Bio: Hi there! My name is Yuvika Maheshwari and I was born and raised in Amritsar, Punjab, India. I am a Global Studies major with minors in Entrepreneurship and Public Affairs. I have an inherent love for traveling and exploring the world (Fun fact, I have been to 21 countries so far!). I aspire to be working in international business partnerships and supply chains, and am greatly passionate about coalescing global cultures, polities and societies through the power of businesses.
I am an international student and came to the United States for the first time in September of 2021. I have felt both the excitement and the anxiety that engulfs you as you move to this country, and understand that transitioning to life at college and finding your community can be intimidating. I was in your shoes not too long ago, and am here to help you as you create and adapt to your home away from home. If you ever have any questions or concerns, need to rant or vent, want to go for a walk, or simply want to go on a coffee spree, do not hesitate to reach out!
Campus Outreach & Inclusion Committee
-Goal: Connect with the campus community through social media, marketing, and outreach!
-Sample Projects: Create social media content, create an active culture-based clubs and organization database, promote events.
-Members: Adnan Shabib, Akshata Panda, Ellen (Liang-Yi) Tsai, Matthias Park, Oliver Kurilov and Seohyun Min.
Graduate Student Committee
-Goal: Promote engagement and interaction among the international graduate student community!
-Sample Projects: UCLA After-Hours events, on-campus socials.
-Members: Kongpob Leemingsawat, Martín González Cabello, Mutsuki Sakai, Omar Itani and Siddhant Patil.
International Student Advocacy Committee
-Goal: Advocate for programs and services to support UCLA international students!
-Sample Projects: Collect and present student testimonials, plan town hall with USAC International Student Representative Office.
-Members: Ali Bilal, Grace Wu, Shannon Park, Yara Abi Karam and Yuan Zhang.
Student Wellness Committee
-Goal: Improve the holistic wellness of international students!
-Sample Projects: Co-program a workshop with another campus organization/department, create a Health & Wellness resource document.
-Members: Emilia Barriga Cortez, Illia Shkirko, Khang Vo, Ronida Cheko and Yuvika Maheshwari.
Our Voice Committee
-Goal: Promote Ambassador engagement within the group and with students, as well as the development of Ambassadors within the program!
-Sample Projects: Organize internal bonding and social activities for Ambassadors, create professional development opportunities for Ambassadors, plan Ambassador Meet & Greet events.
-Members: Agastya Rao, Arianna Zhao, Carolina Cavalcanti Carvalho,Mona Abdul Samad and Sarah Zhari.