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Building Global Bridges: The International Student Ambassadors Club

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Courtesy of Nan Xiao
International Student Ambassadors at Iowa State

The International Student Ambassadors Club (ISAC) at Iowa State aims to transform campus into a global village through fostering participation in a variety of activities surrounding cultural integration.

“We aim to foster connections among students all over the world and support their success at our university,” Nan Xiao, a graduate student in interior design, said.

ISAC provides academic resources and guidance to promote cultural adjustments in social networking.

“For example, we attended a food event for our fundraising,” Xiao said. “Our members are from different kinds of countries. We decided to bring some ingredients, cook their country’s food, bring it to the event and sell it. In one way, we could serve our fundraising issues; in another way, we also promote cultural integration by tasting delicious food.”

Xiao said ISAC members will receive a service certificate on behalf of the admissions office.

“That is an amazing point that can be added to the resume,” Xiao said. “You could be more competitive than other participants to gather a chance to work in the ISSO [International Students and Scholars Office]. One of our members is an undergraduate student, and ISSO hired her during the last semester because she has already gained some experience with the international students in our club.”

Xiao added that in the future, ISAC could expand the mentorship programs to include more participants and develop partnerships with local organizations and businesses, or in a shared or service project.

“We are also establishing a manual trip program that has significantly improved the academic performance and social integrations of international students, [and] could be another proud accomplishment,” Xiao said.

ISAC also cooperates with other student organizations and university departments.

“We co-host events and work closely with ISSO to ensure the needs of international students are met,” Xiao said. “These collaborations have to amplify the club’s impact and facilitate a more inclusive campus environment.”

ISAC received invitations from the Malaysia Student Council for its Chinese New Year celebrations in February.

“Some of our members joined the event. We played the games, enjoyed the food and made many new friends,” Xiao said.

At the end of the spring semester, ISAC will host a celebration, which Xiao said other club members will be invited to.

Club members encourage everyone on campus to join ISAC in celebrating diversity, making Iowa State a welcome place for students from all around the world and taking on leadership roles.

“We always welcome new members, so please don’t hesitate to join us,” Xiao said. “It is truly rewarding. I recommend seeking partnerships with university departments to support diversity that brings together a variety of perspectives and resources. They’re very beneficial to future careers.”

Those interested in joining ISAC can contact Nan Xiao at [email protected] with any questions.

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