What is it?
UMSL Mosaic Ambassadors is UMSL’s international student buddy program designed to provide all new international students with the opportunity to be paired with an internationally minded current UMSL student. New students are called “buddies” and current students are called “ambassadors.” This program is affiliated with the St. Louis Mosaic Project
Who can join?
This program is for new international students and current UMSL students. All new international students can apply to be a buddy. Both current and recently graduated international and domestic students are welcome to apply to be ambassadors. You do not need to have previous international experience, but should have an open-minded interest in other cultures.
In addition to meeting new, fun international and current UMSL students, you will also gain:
- A chance to share enthusiasm for international cultures and experiences
- Excellent mentorship and team building experiences
- Better communication and interpersonal skills
- Greater self-awareness (values, interests, goals) and knowledge of intercultural issues
- Good resume/CV addition
“I got to meet international friends who I still keep in touch with today. Along with new friendships, leading as an ambassador of an international studies program was just a little something extra to add to a résumé, and aided in my immediate hire post- graduation as a Maritz Travel Director.” – Rachel LeGrand
"I have had the opportunity to build a lasting friendship that would never had happened, thanks to the MOSAIC ambassador program. Bonding with my 'buddy' has been an experience that could only happen once in a lifetime. The MOSIAC ambassador program has given me the chance to connect with multiple individuals from around the world. I have been seasoned with cultured friendships that have molded me into a more well-rounded person." – Ashlee Carlstrom
How do I apply?
The sooner you apply, the sooner you can be matched with a buddy or ambassador.
- Buddies: All new incoming international students are invited to apply to be paired with an UMSL student. The application and deadline is included in your admissions packet.
Application deadline for incoming Fall 2014 students: Priority Deadline: July 1
- Ambassadors: Current UMSL students who are interested in assisting new international students in settling in at UMSL are encouraged to apply. Ambassadors are chosen for the program through an application and selection process. Applicants should be current or recently graduated UMSL students in good standing, have strong communication skills, and be enthusiastic and welcoming to students from all cultural and religious backgrounds.
Application deadline for Fall 2014 ambassadors: Priority Deadline: July 1
As an UMSL buddy, what are my responsibilities?
Be open to meeting new people and make the effort to ask questions and get to know your ambassador. Feel free to reach out to your ambassador as well as to accept invitations they make.
As an UMSL ambassador, what are my responsibilities?
Your main role is that of a mentor for assigned incoming international students, providing them with firsthand knowledge of university life, coursework, social networking, and student life in Missouri/the USA. As their mentor, you will help new students become more acclimated and involved on campus and help them make the most of their experience at UMSL! By pairing you with incoming students prior to their arrival, this can be up to a four month commitment (up to two months prior to arrival, and two months into the semester).
Specific ambassador responsibilities include:
- Attend a program orientation and a planning meeting, where you will develop excursions for arrival week, learn about the procedures for airport pickups, and meet other UMSL ambassadors.
- Introduce yourself to your buddies and be available for contact before their arrival. Your buddies may need assistance in finding answers to questions they have about the University and city prior to arrival.
- Pick your buddies up from the airport (if they request).
- Lead excursions during arrival week and attend relevant international student orientation events. For Spring 2014, these are the weeks of January 6 through January 17. A complete list of activities will be distributed at the program orientation and planning meeting.
- Help your buddies with arrival matters such as becoming familiar with the University and student resources, building upon their language and communication skills (if necessary), helping to navigate the U.S. academic structure, and assisting with local transportation needs around St. Louis during arrival week. Students with a vehicle should offer to assist their buddy with needs immediately upon arrival such as grocery shopping, purchasing a cell phone plan, etc.
- Serve as a continuing contact during your buddies’ first few weeks. During the first two weeks of the semester, you will meet with your buddy once per week for coffee, lunch, or for a fun activity. This is a great time to get to know each other, discuss how they are adjusting to life in the U.S. and our academic system, and offer your support. After the first two weeks, make yourself available and check in with your buddy once every other week for the next two months. We encourage you to continue the relationship beyond this time, but it will depend on the connection you have formed together.
- Invite your buddies to spend time together with your friends and family. Introducing your buddies to more people is one of the biggest impacts you can have. If possible, invite them to your home for a traditional holiday or explore local restaurants and communities.
- Promote International House events and Study Abroad opportunities.
- Distribute the St. Louis Mosaic Project flyer.