Congratulations on becoming a Global Ambassador for Penn State Harrisburg! We hope you find your time as a Global Ambassador a rewarding experience.
You will be involved in a range of on and off-campus activities. You will be a role model to both current and potential students. As a Global Ambassador, you will make an important contribution towards encouraging students to do well, both academically and socially. You are also an ambassador to our faculty, staff and community leaders. Therefore you are at the heart of our activities, and you are bridge builders for our communities.
This manual is designed to help you to better understand your role as a Global Ambassador. The training module contained in the following pages will be of great value to you as you start your service as a Global Ambassador. It is your responsibility to read this manual and attend the training session.
Thank you for your participation and commitment.
About the Global Ambassador Program
The program was crafted in April 2014 at Penn State Harrisburg and put into practice in the Fall 2014 semester.
The program trains future world leaders by involving students in planning and implementing international students programs, participating in community service opportunities and building relationships with students, faculty and community leaders.
The program promotes Penn State Harrisburg’s goals for academic excellence, diversity and global citizenship by developing life skills needed to become competent and engaged future world leaders.
- Have completed a minimum of 12 credits (undergraduate students) or 9 credits (graduate students) at Penn State Harrisburg
- Have a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative grade point average
- Join by invite only, and the training is required for all new Global Ambassadors
- Have been actively involved in extracurricular campus activities and/or community activities
- Students are self-motivated, dependable and committed to service
- A team player, strong communication skills and a sincere desire to serve others
- Must be professional in appearance and demeanor and provide excellent “customer service” to students
- Develop valuable leadership and communication skills
- Be a student role model to encourage international students to develop their potentials both academically and socially
- Work closely with University faculty, staff and administration
- Develop interpersonal and cross-cultural communication, organizational, public speaking and problem-solving skills.
- Enhance your résumé-building in public speaking, event planning and marketing.
- Receive a certificate of completion for volunteer service
List of Global Ambassadors
Your Roles as a Global Ambassador
You are an ambassador, a global ambassador, and a Global Ambassador for Penn State Harrisburg. You are friendly and outgoing, and you are sharing your enthusiasm for Penn State Harrisburg with new international students. Your stories of transitioning, studying, living and achieving serve as examples for current and potential Penn State Harrisburg students as they pursue their own studies at our prestigious university. The following are major roles as a Global Ambassador:
- Join the International Student Discussion Panel by sharing experiences of adjusting to the new culture, academically and socially.
- Promote events to students, faculty and staff to be actively involved on campus
- Assist with planning and implementing various international students programs
- Participate in community services
- Build relations with students, faculty, staff and community leaders
- Mandatory two hours training session in the beginning of the semester
- Attend the bi-weekly one-hour meeting
- Visit your assigned school/department bi-weekly to share events and build relationships
- Be available for major events
- International Student Discussion Panel
- Assist Global Lion Mentor Program
- Coffee Hours and International Lunch
- Major Cultural Celebrations on campus
- Thanksgiving Feast
- World Fest
Common Traits of Global Ambassadors
- A curious and adventurous spirit
- An open mind and heart
- The drive to succeed
- The desire to grow through new experiences
- A passion for giving through service
- The desire to learn about other cultures and people
Intercultural Communication Competence
“Learn More, Think Globally and Expand Horizons”
Intercultural communication is defined as situated communication between individuals or groups of different linguistic and cultural origins. This is derived from the following fundamental definitions: communication is the active relationship established between people through language, and intercultural means that this communicative relationship is between people of different cultures, where culture is the structured manifestation of human behavior in social life within specific national and local contexts, e.g. political, linguistic, economic, institutional, and professional. Intercultural communication is identified as both a concept and a competence. Intercultural competence is the active possession by individuals of qualities which contribute to effective intercultural communication and can be defined in terms of three primary attributes: knowledge, skills and attitudes. (“Intercultural Communication” at Lanqua.edu)
- Philosophies, traditions, beliefs, perceptions, values, customs, norms, rituals, etiquettes, time concepts, taboos, attires and body languages are very different from culture to culture. Thus people from different cultures encode and decode messages differently. Do not assume that other people’s thoughts and actions are just like yours. Our motto is to “Learn More, Think Globally and Expand Horizons.”
- Recognize that accents may cause meaning to vary significantly. Listen carefully and, if in doubt, ask for confirmation of understanding.
- Learn to greet in the native language of the student. It is a great way to break the ice and form a positive impression of the greeter.
- Avoid using foul, derogatory, stereotyping or biased language in any circumstances.
- Avoid slangs or idioms, choosing words that will convey meanings easily.
- Study cultural perceptions and etiquettes. Respect communication formalities and styles of different cultures. For example, you are supposed to shake hands softly in Asian culture, while you need to shake hands briefly but firmly in America.
- Smile is a universal language of greeting. Smile genuinely when greeting anyone.
See Discussions Etiquette table here.
You will be introducing yourself in many occasions. As a Global Ambassador, self-introduction is essential for meeting students, faculty, staff and community volunteers. A short, articulate, impressive and effective self-introduction will help people to remember you, or even better, want to talk with you and hear from you. To deliver a dynamic self-introduction, you may consider
- Your audience and show your interest in your audience
- Your objectives and how to make your introduction memorable
- The most relevant pieces of information about yourself
- Your tone of voice and body language
- Be brief and conversational
- Be confident and show enthusiasm
- Formulate your self-introduction ahead of time and Practice beforehand
- You may ask a question that helps lead your listener into a short conversation
Pick at least three things about you and select an event in our list, and pretend that you’re going to introduce yourself and then invite a faculty to the event. Write a short 30-second self-introduction. Memorize the lines and practice your self-introductions in front of us.
An example: Hi, I’m Jerry, Jerry Lee from Korea. I’m a Global Ambassador at Penn State Harrisburg. I major in Communication. I would like to invite you to our special event this Monday. We’re having an International Coffee Hour from 3 to 4 on Monday Sept. 8 in the Gallery Lounge, and Iranian flavor is highlighted for the Coffee Hour. Hope you can come!
Public Speaking Skills
- Be punctual. As a rule of thumb, arrive at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time to give yourself time to get ready and be organized. Take the initiative to be as informed as possible before you arrive.
- Be prepared. Write your speech ahead of time. Rehearse it with a stopwatch to time yourself. Use visual aids and body language for your presentation. Prepare as much as you can, but act spontaneously when speaking in public.
- Be confident. Practice speaking slowly and clearly. Always maintain your eye contact while speaking and listening to people. Direct your comments to those you are speaking to. Avoid slangs.
- Be positive. This is difficult especially when you have bad days, but give it your BEST. Don’t lie, but remember that you need to put a positive spin on everything.
- Be enthusiastic for your topic. Enthusiasm is contagious. An effective speaker needs to captivate your audience’s attention.
- Be open to options. Relate your own experiences when answering questions, but do not draw your own conclusions. Give the options.
- Be proactive. Instead of answering “No” to a question, you may reply by saying, “I am not sure, but I’ll check it out and get back to you.” Then you do what you say. Find the answers and send back the response.
- Be careful with your words. Think before you speak, and if you are not sure what you should say it, do not say it. Also, don’t speak in your native language with people from your home country at public events.
- Avoid spreading rumors. Give only accurate and useful information. Do not share information you heard in the dorm or in class. Avoid statements like, “I’ve heard that…”
- Avoid personal feelings. As a Global Ambassador, you will be meeting all kinds of people and students. It is crucial that you put your personal feelings aside when dealing with the public.
Panel Discussion Etiquette
You’re representing multiple countries of origin and various programs of study, to share your adjustment to life in Middletown and the surrounding communities and your adjustment to learning at Penn State Harrisburg.
The new international students will be able to learn from the experiences of our Student Panelists in the following areas:
- Language barriers and how to improve English skills
- Classroom culture adjustment
- Opportunities to explore and grow your skills
- Various Resources to help you overcome challenges
Techniques for Panelists
- Keep on Track
- Keep positive attitude while sharing your challenges or problems
- Do not monopolize the discussion
- Do speak clearly, at good pace and with confidence
- Be professional
- Dress properly