Penn State Harrisburg hosts international students from nearly 50 countries. They are a tremendous resource for our campus. As Global Ambassadors, International Students (along with several eager and keen domestic students) come together to promote intercultural communication and global citizenship. For Fall 2021, there are 40 Global Ambassadors representing 16 countries. They recorded greetings in dozens of languages, shared cultural discussion etiquette, and presented their observation of American Culture and Etiquette.
The Global Ambassadors Program promotes Penn State Harrisburg's goals for academic excellence, diversity, and global citizenship by developing competencies necessary for influential world leaders while enhancing the cultural humility of all.
The program trains students for success in the competition for global talent and for leadership, by involving them in collaborative intercultural projects associated with
- planning and enacting international/cultural events and programs
- constructing cross-cultural relations with students, faculty, staff, and community leaders
Global Ambassadors lead and learn by:
- collaborating in the production of an ambitious series of cultural events throughout the year on the PSU-HBG campus
- seeking opportunities to publicize our office’s cultural events and by explaining their significance
- participating in Global Ambassador cultural events
- acting as liaisons between the Office of International Students and various units from across the university
- seeking additional opportunities and experiences to develop their intercultural knowledge and competence.
What is Intercultural Knowledge and Competence? (In general)
“ … is a set of cognitive, affective and behavioral skills and characteristics that support effective and appropriate interactions in a variety of cultural contexts” (Bennett, 2008)
What is Intercultural Knowledge and Competence? (In particular)
- Knowledge (cultural self-awareness, knowledge of cultural worldview frameworks)
- Skills (empathy, verbal and non-verbal communication)
- Attitudes (curiosity, openness)
To demonstrate the development of your intercultural knowledge competence
- show that you are yourself a cultural being
- elaborate on the complexity of another’s worldview
- show you appreciate the significance of another’s worldview
- show the significance of culture for communication (both verbal and non-verbal)
- elaborate on a cultural difference from others that you have discovered
- reflect on how your approach to cultural difference has changed
Students will create a portfolio that attests to the development of their Intercultural Knowledge and Competence. In exceptional circumstances, students will be recognized for having begun to develop cultural humility*.
Penn State Values
As a member of the Penn State community, a Global Ambassador embraces all 6 Penn State Values of Integrity, Respect, Discovery, Responsibility, Excellence and Community. However, the unique mission of the Global Ambassadors, emphasizes 3 of these values unambiguously in the execution of its work:
Respect: Respect and honor the dignity of each person, embrace civil discourse, and foster a diverse and inclusive community
Discovery: Seek and create new knowledge and understanding, and foster creativity and innovation, for the benefit of our communities, society, and the environment.
Community: Work collaboratively for the betterment of our University, the communities we serve, and the world.
*Cultural humility emerges through (and is built upon) the development of intercultural competence. It refers to an ever-deepening capacity for engaging otherwise unfamiliar interactions, recognizing that aspects of culture and power necessarily constitute them, without necessarily making assumptions about how these aspects manifest. Cultural humility reflects the intellectual and emotional resources necessary for an individual to address imbalances and for moving systems towards greater inclusion and equity.
Global Ambassador Awards
The Global Ambassador Program honors three outstanding Global Ambassadors each semester with the following awards:
- Outstanding Leader
- Diversity Award
- Outstanding Community Service