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Global Ambassador Program

Interested in intercultural exchange? Ready to step out of your comfort zone to make new friends and/or learn new cultures? Planning to apply for an international internship? Just returned from a fabulous study abroad trip and crave for more intercultural experiences? If so, join the Global Ambassador Program!

GAP is a year-long international friendship program that aims to foster intercultural dialogue among Columbia's diverse student body. The program matches students of different races, nationalities, classes, genders, sexual orientations, and class years. It provides a safe(r) space for discussing topics such as culture shock, communication styles, social perceptions, identity, and family traditions. GAP selects a cohort of approximately 20 ambassadors who participate in monthly dialogues led by student facilitators. Ambassadors are also matched into smaller peer groups (also led by student facilitators) which meet monthly for additional bonding opportunities, intercultural activities, and discussions.

GAP applicants should be prepared to commit to a full academic year of participation, which includes regular programming (usually twice a month) on Friday evenings (from 5:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m.) as well as occasional additional programming. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Global Ambassador Program?

GAP is a year-long international friendship program that aims to foster intercultural dialogue among Columbia's diverse student body. The program matches students of different races, nationalities, classes, genders, sexual orientations, and class years. It provides a safe(r) space for discussing topics such as culture shock, communication styles, social perceptions, identity, and family traditions. GAP selects a cohort of approximately 20 ambassadors who participate in monthly dialogues led by student facilitators. Ambassadors are also matched into smaller peer groups (also led by student facilitators) which meet monthly for additional bonding opportunities, intercultural activities, and discussions.

When is the application deadline?

Please apply by Sunday, September 22, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. Late and/or incomplete submissions will not be considered. 

Who can apply to participate in the Global Ambassador Program?

All Columbia College and Columbia Engineering undergraduate students are welcome to apply.

I am a visiting student. Can I apply?

The commitment to the program is one academic year (September 2019 to April 2020). If you will be around for a year, you are welcome to apply!

I am not an international student. Can I apply?

Yes! GAP is open to all CC and SEAS undergraduate students. You do not have to be an international student to apply to be a part of the program.

When will I know whether I am accepted?

You will be notified whether you are accepted to GAP and, if accepted, information about your ambassador group by October 4, 2019.

What is the commitment like if I am selected?

Ambassadors are expected to participate in the full-day GAP kick-off event on October 11, 2019. After that, we meet every other week on Fridays (twice a month), sometimes as a large group and sometimes as a small peer-group. These meetings will typically last for about 90 minutes, and start at 5:00 p.m. Dinner will be served at large group meetings. GAP offers at least one GAP-theme related excursion in New York City per semester. Excursions are free to all GAP participants. 

Is this a language exchange program? I am learning a foreign language now and would like to meet someone to practice the language.

This is not a language exchange program. All programming will be conducted in English. However, there will be many opportunities to share elements of language and culture, and you may meet people with whom you can speak and/or practice many languages!

Is this a mentorship program? I am a senior and am looking for an opportunity to mentor younger students and make new friends. How is this program different from the Columbia Mentoring Initiative (CMI)?

We hope to include both upperclass students and first-years in each ambassador group, because our fundamental goal is to connect people from different backgrounds, and this includes age and class year! However, we at GAP hope that this is a learning and sharing expereince for all members of the group  - the premise of your ambassador group is an equal rather than mentor-mentee relationship.

What are some of the themes of our monthly meeting? What will we do in those meetings?

Student facilitators select themes for monthly meetings, so the programming is new and dynamic each year. Past themes have included social media and culture, accents and social power, how culture impacts our career choices, standards of hygiene and beauty, and much more! 

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