So you’re back from your fabulous study abroad trip, now what? Are you finding it a little challenging to jump right back into your regular life? You’re full of things you learned and things you saw, and you’re bursting with all the stories you want to tell. I’ve been there and understand all of this completely. I also have an option to help you transition back to school: apply to become an Alumni Ambassador.
Here are just a few reasons why AIFS Alumni Ambassadors love what we do:
1. We share our adventures.
“My favorite part about being an Ambassador is being able to relive my study abroad experience all the time,” says Mollie Wheeler, who has been an Ambassador for two years now. “I get to connect with potential study abroaders on a weekly basis and they’re always so curious to hear about my time abroad. I think when I got back from studying in Chile, a lot of people asked one question and then let it go, and there was so much more I had wanted to share about my experience. That’s a problem I hear from alumni all the time. I think this program is such a great outlet to be able to share what you learned abroad.”
2. We gain professional development skills.
“One great thing about the program is the professional skills I learned,” says alumni Emily Cole. “As part of the program, the ladies at headquarters provide professional development calls every month to talk about cover letters, interviewing, workplace culture, and so on. They also review your résumé and cover letters to make them the best they can be. They’ve become a great resource for us when we need any advice regarding the way the ‘real world’ works. Because of them, I feel more confident in entering the professional world.”
3. We help people achieve their dreams.
“I think one of the best parts about being an Ambassador is getting to see the excitement, the nerves, the wonder, the possibility, and the dreams in people’s eyes when they begin planning their journey,” says Ambassador Bridgette God. “I love watching their faces light up when they talk about all the places they could visit and the eagerness to get packing when I share a story from my personal experience. I can remember back to how I felt before deciding where I was going to study abroad, and I can recall all of the emotions I felt, the sights I pictured, the places I desired to see, and the people I imagined I would meet. On the other hand, I also remember how nervous I felt and worried that I would forget some important information or leave out a necessary step that would prevent me from actually going abroad. I felt like the dream was too good to come true. I enjoy being an Ambassador so that I can share in that excitement with other students planning to go abroad and so that I can ease those nerves a little bit and clear up some of the information required to go abroad.”
4. We stay connected with our study abroad experiences.
“When I got back from my semester abroad, after a while it seemed like my friends were getting tired of hearing me talk about it,” says Joanna Flanagan. “I would start to say ‘when I was in Ireland…’ and I could feel their eyes starting to roll. As an Alumni Ambassador, I’ve been able to talk with a variety of students on my campus and across the country who actually want to hear about my experience and, even better, how they can have their own experience of a lifetime. I’m so passionate about study abroad, and I love being able to share that passion with students across my campus.”
5. We gain networking and self-empowerment skills.
One of the ways Angelina Demirbag benefited from the program was through manning informational tables on her campus. “Often times, I was the only person manning the table which forced me to reach out and engage with students passing by instead of allowing someone else to do that end of the work. I am a slight introvert, so being an AIFS Ambassador allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone and initiate conversations with students that I otherwise might not have if I was not an Ambassador. Doing this alone meant I was responsible for all of my materials and making sure I had enough supplies to last me through a whole day of tabling. This meant putting time and organizational effort into the event beforehand and ordering supplies in a timely manner.”
If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a study abroad Alumni Ambassador, click here for more information and how to apply. If you’d like to be involved but are not sure you can commit to the Ambassador program, check out opportunities available through the Active Alumni volunteer program.