What is the Global Ambassador Program?
The Global Ambassador Program (GAP) is a international friendship program that aims to foster intercultural dialogues among Columbia's diverse student body, as well as connect students from different social identities, cultural backgrounds, and class years. It provides a safe(r) space for discussing topics such as culture shock, communication styles, intercultural conflict styles, social perceptions, and social (dis)comfort. GAP hosts monthly themed intercultural events. Members of ambassador groups will also meet up informally to engage in intercultural activities and discussions.
When is the application deadline?
The application for GAP participants will open on September 5, 2017. Please apply by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, September 24, 2017.
Who can apply to participate in the Global Ambassador Program?
All CC and SEAS undergraduate students are welcome to apply.
I am a visiting student. Can I apply?
The commitment to the program is one academic year (September 2017 to April 2018). 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 2, 2017.
What is the commitment like if I were to be selected?
Ambassadors are expected to participate in the full-day GAP kick-off event on October 13 and complete the Intercultural Effectiveness Scale (takes 10-15 minutes). After that, we meet every other week (twice a month). These meetings will typically last for about 90 minutes, and dinner will be served in selective meetings. GAP offers at least one GAP-theme related excursion in New York City per semester. Excursions are free to all GAP participants. At the end of the program in April 2018, all ambassadors will take the Intercultural Effectiveness Scale again before they conclude the year.
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 exclusively a language exchange program. However you can state that you would like to be partnered with someone who speaks the language on your application and you are free to practice a foreign language with your paired ambassador! GAP offers not only language exchange opportunities but also cultural exchange opportunities.
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?
General themes may include intercultural communication styless, intercultrual conflict styles, religious identity, race, gender, language, ethnic heritage, sexual orientation among others. In the meetings we will discuss common themes and issues and conduct activities around self-awareness and intercultural understanding. Themes will try to coincide with heritage and history months.