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UCLA Dashew Center for International Students & Scholars

About the Program

Ambassadors use their own cultural backgrounds and experiences to serve as resources for the entirety of the UCLA community. They have all been students at UCLA for at least one full academic year. Ambassadors are one of the first points of contact for incoming international students. The Ambassadors also advocate to UCLA staff and faculty on behalf of the entire international community to make sure their voice is heard. Ambassadors serve the campus community through specialized committees. In these committees, Ambassadors work on quarter or year-long projects.

Continuing international students can contact them to connect with someone from their own country/region and U.S. students can reach out before studying abroad. The Ambassadors host quarterly events to bring the entire UCLA community together to make friends from all over the globe!

Ask the International Student Ambassadors!

Ambassadors can answer questions about: academic life, and campus resources; what it's like to transition to the United States, to Los Angeles, and to UCLA; what it's like to live abroad, as well as what it's like to live in their home country; the differences between American culture and the culture in their home country. They will not be able to answer visa-related questions, please contact the Dashew Center directly for that. They also welcome concerns or project suggestions that you would like them to work on. If there is not an Ambassador for your country/region, feel free to reach out to any Ambassador of your choice.

Contact the Ambassadors

Follow the International Student Ambassadors on Instagram!

For general inquires, panel discussions, focus groups, interviews, and other media requests please contact intlambassadors@saonet.ucla.edu.

Africa & Australia

Nigeria Flag Nigeria: Ose Kadiri

Ose Kadiri

Hometown:

Ibadan

Major:

Master of Public Health

About Me:

Hello, my name is Ose and I was born and raised in Ibadan, Nigeria. I graduated from medical school in Nigeria and also worked at a teaching hospital after graduation. I am passionate about health equity and improving the quality of healthcare in developing countries. When I'm not studying, I enjoy playing video games, watching sports, and exercising. Although mostly remote, I have greatly enjoyed my time so far at UCLA. I understand that moving to a new country and adapting to a different culture may be challenging but with the right help and support, it can be a thrilling and fascinating experience! I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you have about UCLA and adjusting to life in Los Angeles.

Australia Flag Australia: Frederick Krisman

Frederick Krisman

Hometown:

Sydney and Wellington

Major:

Mechanical Engineering

About Me:

Kia ora! I’m Frederick and I was born in Wellington, New Zealand, and spent much of my childhood growing up in the suburbs of Wellington before moving to Sydney, Australia just over eight years ago. I will be representing Australia and New Zealand. Travel, music, food, cars, and planes are all things that excite me, and many of my favourite pastimes revolve around them! As someone whose first time stepping foot in the United States was two months before I began my first year at UCLA, I am very familiar with the excitement and challenges that come with going to university in a completely foreign country that’s far away from home. If you have questions about anything, whether it’s about life as an international student at UCLA, what the best ways to explore LA are, or if you’re simply curious about what life Down Under is like, please reach out!

East Asia

Taiwan Flag Taiwan: Ellen (Liang-Yi) Tsai

Ellen (Liang-Yi) Tsai

Hometown:

Taipei/Taichung

Major:

Computational and Systems Biology

About Me:

Hi there, this is Ellen! I was born and raised in Taipei, but my family moved to Taichung just before I came to UCLA. For high school, I went to a local high school at Taipei, so I had a rather different high school experience. I’m passionate about mental health, and such passion has led me to be a part of the STAND for All (previously Resilience Peer Network) since my second quarter here. Other than that, I enjoy watching musicals, 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.

Hong Kong Flag Hong Kong: Rachel Ling

Rachel Ling

Hometown:

Hong Kong

Major:

Psychology

Minor:

Education Studies

About Me:

Hi everyone! My name is Rachel, and I was born and raised in the lovely city of Hong Kong. I took the International Baccalaureate (IB) during high school, went to Santa Monica College, and eventually transferred to become a Bruin at UCLA. When I'm in LA, I spend my free time traveling to different parts of the city, meeting new people, and discovering new places to eat and hang out with friends. My hobbies include cooking/baking, watching Netflix, and doing plenty of outdoor activities (eg. hike, surf, skate). Adjusting to such a large school and being away from home can be really difficult as an international student, so I’m here to answer any questions you have about UCLA or anything you're curious about. Feel free to contact me and let’s get to know each other! :)

China Flag China: Peng Wang

Peng Wang

Hometown:

Jiangsu

Major:

Master of Business Administration

About Me:

Born and raised in Xuzhou, Jiangsu, China, I'm a 1.5 generation immigrant that attended high school and college in the U.S. As a double bruin, I earned my BA in International Development at UCLA's International Institute and currently working on my MBA at UCLA's Anderson School of Management. My hobbies include tennis, golf, swimming, snowboarding, hiking, bowling, archery, or anything outdoors (even gun range shooting!).

China Flag China: Yuerong Xiao

Yuerong Xiao

Hometown:

Shanghai/Chongqing

Major:

Ecology, Behavior and Evolution

Minor:

1) Environmental Engineering 2) Visual and Performing Art Education

About Me:

Hi! This is Yuerong. I was born in Chongqing and raised in Shanghai, China. I enjoy studying plants and animals, painting & 3D art, campfire storytelling on the beach, collecting postcards, and memes ofc. Some experiences I've had at UCLA include the student garden, environmental DNA research, teaching Arts in Elementary School, and Botanical Garden volunteering. I've had a lot of unforgettable adventures with friends here and I hope you do too! I know that being away from home is a special journey, so if there’s anything I can answer for you, please feel free to reach out anytime :)

Europe

United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom: Zak Myers

Zak Myers

Hometown:

Leicester

Major:

Aerospace Engineering

About Me:

Hi! My name is Zak, and I am studying Aerospace Engineering here at UCLA. I was raised just outside of Leicester, England going to a boarding school called Oakham before coming to California for university. At UCLA, I’m part of the Rocket Project as well as the Engineering Ambassadors team. I’m also a member of the Men’s Rowing team and spend most of my mornings training on the water at Marina Del Rey. For my hobbies, I love all kinds of sports from Rugby to Squash to Formula 1 to Soccer (or football!) and I’m a big Everton fan. I also love hiking, going to concerts, and eating unhealthy amounts of food. When I moved to UCLA, I hadn’t had a tour of campus or even managed to get a Bruincard, so I know how it feels to be thrown in at the deep end. If you have any questions, need advice on anything, or just want to hang out, please reach out!

France Flag France: Onja Davidson

Onja Davidson

Hometown:

Marseille

Major:

PhD Civil and Environmental Engineering

About Me:

Hello! My name is Onja Davidson. My last name sounds American but in fact, I was born in Madagascar. My family moved to France when I was 3. I have dual citizenship (France/Madagascar). I grew up and lived in Marseille. After the “Classes préparatoires aux Grandes Ecoles”, I joined ESTP Paris (École Spéciale des Travaux Publics), a French engineering school which offered a “double diplôme” with the UCLA Civil & Environmental Engineering Department. After my Master's at UCLA, I have decided to pursue a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering. I have been at UCLA for 3 years now and I love everything about my studies, UCLA and LA! I perfectly understand the challenges many international students must face with adjusting to a new place, being far away from family... That’s why as the International Student Ambassador for France, I would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. I could provide recommendations about Embassy in Paris, travel, housing recommendations… to ease your transition to your life here. And if you love food and sports especially basketball like me, I would love to meet you and go to a UCLA game or NBA game or to restaurants. Please feel free to contact me anytime!

Germany Flag Germany: Ronida Cheko

Rondia Cheko

Hometown:

Mainz

Major:

Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology

Minor:

Biomedical Research

About Me:

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, and Asia. 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 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, or have any good book recommendations, feel free to reach out to me!

Middle East

Bahrain Flag Bahrain: Adnan Shabib

Adnan Shabib

Hometown:

Manama

Major:

Mathematics of Computation

About Me:

Hey! My name is Adnan and I have lived in Bahrain for ten 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!

Turkey Flag Turkey: Selin Ertekin

Selin Ertekin

Hometown:

Istanbul

Major:

Pre-Psychobiology

Minor:

Music Industry

About Me:

Hi everyone! My name is Selin and I was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey. Living in a city of many dimensions and spending my adolescence in a multicultural French lycée, I grew up amidst the coexistence of harmony of cultures. Thus, multiculturalism has been an ingrained part of my identity development. My greatest passions are making music, playing the piano and the bass guitar. I also enjoy photography, traveling, exploring new places, going to concerts, and collecting records. I’m the happiest when I’m at the beach! I’ve started off my journey at UCLA remotely because of the pandemic. So, I haven’t experienced a smooth transition to college life. However, I’m so happy to be a student at UCLA surrounded with many inspiring people. I think that being away from home and getting out of your comfort zone is a great opportunity for pursuing your dreams, getting to know yourself better, and connecting with many different people. If you have any questions about anything in general feel free to contact me! I know that adjusting to a new place and adapting to a new culture can be difficult. As an International Student Ambassador, I would be so happy to get to know you and help you out with anything you need. Meeting, sharing, and collaborating with people from different cultural backgrounds, I learned that everybody is a storyteller. I would love to hear your stories! Talk to you soon:)

Jordan Flag Jordan: Firyal Bawab

Firyal Bawab

Hometown:

Amman

Major:

International Development Studies

About Me:

Hello, I am a Palestinian-Jordanian that was raised in Amman, Jordan. I am passionate about Middle Eastern affairs. In my free time, I draw cartoons for the Daily Bruin, read comic books, and watch horror movies. I am into the local, underground Arab music scene, and my favorite artists right now are Shabjdeed and the Synaptik, two Palestinian rap artists. I also love 'tarab', old Arabic primarily-string music. My favorite meal is Mansaf, Jordan's national dish. Some of my favorite writers are Ghassan Kanafani and Toni Morrison. I attempt to write some of my own short stories and poems. I came to the US to attend UCLA, in addition to having other experiences studying abroad, so I know what it's like to be far from home. Reach out to me for any help to ease your transition to UCLA, swap playlist, chat, or if you want a pen pal to practice your Arabic with.

North & South America

Brazil Flag Brazil: Carol Guimaraes

Carol Guimaraes

Hometown:

Rio de Janeiro

Major:

Communications and Psychology

About Me:

Hi, I'm Carol! I was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but lived in England and Houston TX during most of my childhood. I love playing sports, traveling, and watching a good movie. I am extremely grateful to have lived in different countries, but I do understand the struggles of constant moves and the challenges that many international students face when transitioning to UCLA. From my (almost) four years at UCLA, I have managed to make it feel like a second home by meeting different people from various backgrounds and cultures. I hope this happens to you too! If you ever have any questions or need advice on how to navigate college, different on-campus clubs, and LA, please don't hesitate to reach out to me! I'm always excited to meet new people and learn from them.

Canada Flag Canada: Evelyn Wan

Evelyn Wan

Hometown:

Montreal

Major:

Communications

Minor:

Film & Classics

About Me:

Hi everyone! My name is Evelyn. I was born in Canada, then lived in England and China for several years before coming to UCLA. In my free time, I love reading, writing, graphic design, watching movies, art, meeting new people—and, of course, just exploring in general! Moving to LA was a huge transition for me, but it also gave me the opportunity to explore and expand upon my interests. Transitioning to a new country can be tough, but if you step a little outside your comfort zone, it allows you to open yourself up to so many diverse new experiences and meet wonderful new people. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out! I'm always down to go on walks or go hunting for new food/fun things to do—or even just to chill and chat about books, movies, campus life/clubs, and more, and can't wait to meet you!

Colombia Flag Colombia: Veronica Fernandez de Soto

Hometown:

Bogota

Major:

English

Minor:

History and Entrepreneurship

About Me:

Hi! My name is Veronica and I am from Bogota, Colombia. I am a fourth-year English major and history and entrepreneurship minor. I love reading, writing, keeping up with the latest current events, and fitness. This is my last year at UCLA so I am looking to explore every part of LA that I’ve missed these last three years. Feel free to reach out!

South & Southeast Asia

Vietnam Flag Vietnam: Nghi Bui

Nghi Bui

Hometown:

Phu Yen

Major:

Asian Language and Linguistics

Minor:

Public Relations

About Me:

Hi all! My name is Nghi. I was born and raised in a small coastal province called Phu Yen in Vietnam. I came to the United States when I was 15. I went to a community college in Seattle and transferred to UCLA after 2 years. Currently, I'm an Asian Language and Linguistics major, Public Relations minor. I love communicating, hanging out with new people, listening to music, and talking about any topics related to music and anime/manga/games. I also love languages, especially Asian languages. Having faced vast culture shocks, I understand the struggles international students encounter so don't ever hesitate to reach out to me if you need help with anything (or for practicing languages)!

Indonesia Flag Indonesia: Nicolynne Soedjoko

Nicolynne Soedjoko

Hometown:

Malang

Major:

Business Economics

Minor:

Accounting

About Me:

My name is Nicolynne Soedjoko. I was born and raised in Malang, a small city in Indonesia. Before coming to UCLA, I was attended one of the colleges in the Bay Area. Having faced vast culture shocks, I understand the struggles international students encounter, so if you need help, you can contact me. Also, I love to connect with new people and meet them. Not just that, I have a passion for exploring the city and the food around the neighborhood. Looking forward to meeting all of you in person this fall!

Thailand Flag Thailand: Jeth Arunseangroj

Hometown:

Bangkok

Major:

Astrophysics

About Me:

Hello! My name is Jeth, but I don’t mind if you call me by my actual Thai name, “Boss.” (Yes, Thai people are extra with names.) I am from Bangkok, Thailand. I enjoy playing basketball, swimming, doing magic tricks, and video editing. I am a senior in Astrophysics major. I understand how hard it can be to adjust yourself to a new environment, and I might know things that may help smoothen the transitioning process. Please feel free to contact me if you need help with anything, or if you want to learn about Thai culture or just hang out!

India Flag India: Alana Sur

Alana Sur

Hometown:

New Delhi

Major:

Psychobiology and Neuroscience

About Me:

Hi there! I'm Alana and I'm studying Psychobiology and Neuroscience. I was born and raised in India and moved to LA to attend UCLA. I'm fluent in English and Hindi and can speak Bengali. Having grown up in a country with so many different cultures, I really love learning more about other cultures and traditions as well as exploring different cuisines! If you ever want to try something new or further explore the city, don’t hesitate to reach out. You can always contact me for anything ranging from academics, being pre-med, extracurriculars, or even if you just want to hang out/vent! My goal is to hopefully ease your transition to college as well as help you find a piece of home here.

Malaysia Flag Malaysia: Sarah Zhari

Sarah Zhari

UCLA.Malaysia.Ambassador@gmail.com

Hometown:

Kuala Lumpur

Major:

Statistics

About Me:

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 embroidery! 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!