Monday, July 3, 2017

Maryville College Cultural Ambassadors

At Maryville College, we want to help all students become active leaders in their community. To help International and Exchange students achieve this goal, the Center for International Education has the Cultural
a group of students with a lot of colorful powder on their clothes at the holi celebration
Holi Celebration 
Ambassadors program. Cultural Ambassadors are meant to get involved and have fun while sharing their culture with students, faculty and staff. Cultural Ambassadors will in turn learn about U.S. culture through active participation in at least one organization on campus. Through these activities, we hope that campus will have a strong presence of international leaders. Every international and exchange student at MC is a Cultural Ambassador and shares her culture throughout her time at the college.

Each term, Cultural Ambassadors strive to share their culture on and off campus and to actively participate in an organization!

A group of international students at homecoming
Group of students at Homecoming
Many students share their culture on campus through the Global Citizenship Organization’s (GCO) cultural presentation times, in your resident halls or during international education week. There is a lot of flexibility in sharing your culture on campus, so students can also plan their own event or way of sharing. For example, perhaps you love to cook traditional food from your culture and want to host a small event teaching others how to cook a dish. If you have traditional clothes or items from your country that you want to share, remember to bring them with you to Tennessee. Staff at CIE are always here to help you brainstorm ideas and help put plans into action. We will ask you to present your culture AT LEAST ONCE formally on campus, so be prepared!

Sharing your culture off campus can be done in similar ways. CIE organizes at least one off campus visit or fair per semester and you can plan to join in on those events. In past years, we have set up events with the Boys and Girls ClubRotary Association, Alcoa Elementary School, William Blount High School, Clayton-Bradley STEM Academy or local churches.  You’re always encouraged to reach out to other organizations though and set up other small events or activities.
students sharing traditional chinese new year activities at isaac's
Chinese New Year Celebration at Isaac's Cafe

The last requirement is a fun one that will help you find your place on campus. You can join any organization you want and participate fully to fulfill this requirement. Participating fully means that you will go to meetings and be involved with at least one event each semester in your chosen organization. Being a member of GCO or the International Education Week Planning Committee may be a good option, but you could also join the Student Government Association or one of the many groups on campus (we’ll talk more about these groups in a later post!).  One of the best things about a small college is that there are many leadership opportunities within organizations right from Day 1.  Attend the Opportunities of a Lifetime Fair the 2nd week of class to get to know all the clubs.

The CIE is looking forward to seeing how each of you embrace your ambassadorship this coming year!