Alumni

AIFS Alumni Ambassador Program



Do this for others – do this for yourself

The AIFS Alumni Ambassador program provides an opportunity to process your time abroad with a community of your peers who know what it’s like to have a much longer answer to the question of “How was your time abroad?” than “It was amazing!” The AIFS Alumni Ambassador program is a professional development and leadership program designed to allow a limited number of exceptional AIFS alumni the opportunity to promote studying abroad on their campus, develop skills relevant to their career aspirations, and share their experience with interested students. Currently less than 10% of the US college population studies abroad, so there is a lot of room for growth. As an Alumni Ambassador, your primary responsibility is to help increase awareness at your university about studying abroad.

“Aside from studying abroad, becoming an Ambassador was easily one of the best decisions I made during my time at the University of St. Thomas. As an Ambassador, I not only go to represent the company I love but was able to let my passion for study abroad live on every single day. In this role, I was able to influence, inspire, and encourage others to be bold and curious by providing the necessary resources and support they needed in order to say YES to the life changing experience that is study abroad. Alongside the campus advocacy part of the program, the professional development portion provided me the proper tools to enhance and enrich my professional development skills through resume critiquing, interviewing abilities, negotiating strategies, and so much more. But most importantly, this program gave me a sense of community, a study abroad family. A family that is built around one belief, one love, and one passion. A family that is made up of people who come from different backgrounds, experiences, stories and perspectives. And for me, that’s what make the AIFS Ambassador program so incredibly special.”
– Hannah H., Alumni Ambassador 2018-19

“The Alumni Ambassador program made me feel part of the global community at large with each passing day I was away from my host country.”
– Benjamin W., Alumni Ambassador 2018-2020


What are the responsibilities?

Alumni Ambassadors play an important role, but you won't be going it alone! You and the other Ambassadors will receive a helpful toolkit filled with resources as well as support and guidance from the AIFS Alumni Team, the AIFS representative for your campus, and former Alumni Ambassadors. Although you may be the only Ambassador at your university, you will have a wide network of Ambassadors around the country to collaborate, brainstorm, and strategize with throughout the year.


What will I do as an Ambassador?

  • Attend the online AIFS Alumni Ambassador training on August 3-4, 2020 (AIFS will provide access to the training platform)
  • Dedicate at least 80 hours for the academic year (about 10 hours per month) to completing designated activities
  • Create one video and one blog post about your time abroad, submit two online reviews and provide feedback to AIFS about your experience
  • Become familiar with all AIFS programs (not just the one you studied on)
  • Connect with your campus study abroad office to determine how you can be most helpful to them
  • Work with the Alumni Team and your AIFS campus representative to develop a plan of action for the school year
  • Assist interested students and AIFS applicants on your campus
  • Report your activities to the Alumni Team on a monthly basis
  • Participate in professional development training on topics including: how to market your international experience, job interviewing techniques, and learning how to go abroad again


Why should I apply?

  • Be a part of globalizing your campus
  • Relive and process your time abroad by sharing with other students and writing about your study abroad experience
  • Opportunity to share your experience in multiple formats (we welcome and encourage blogs, photos, videos, social media activities, and much more. Be creative!)
  • Learn how to market your study abroad experience in your professional life
  • Individual résumé and LinkedIn profile review
  • Opportunity to create an e-portfolio for use in your job search
  • Letter of recommendation upon successful completion of the program
  • Direct support from the AIFS Alumni Team and AIFS staff around the U.S.
  • Receive a $500 travel voucher upon successful completion of the program
  • Exceptional performance will be recognized with an opportunity to attend NAFSA Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C.
  • Alumni Ambassadors from the American Institute for Foreign Study are guaranteed a $10,000 scholarship for a Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) master’s program. MIIS recognizes AIFS Ambassadors commitment to service, language, and cross-cultural communication as a valuable part of our campus community and global alumni network. American Institute for Foreign Study Alumni Ambassadors are guaranteed a $10,000 scholarship toward a master’s degree at the Middlebury Institute.

 

What is the application process?

Applicants will need to answer the following questions in the online application:

  • What is one highlight of your study abroad experience that you want to share with students?
  • AIFS is committed to making sure all students know that study abroad is available to them. As such, we ask Ambassadors to connect intentionally with communities that are currently underrepresented in study abroad on their campus (Ex: students of color, students with disabilities, STEM majors, etc.) and serve as a resource. Please list one community you would connect with as an Ambassador and an idea for outreach.
  • What skills do you want to develop through your participation in the Ambassador program?
  • If you studied abroad during Spring 2020, how was your experience abroad impacted by COVID-19? How would you describe this experience to prospective students?

Once you have submitted your online application, please submit your resume, a cover letter indicating why you want to serve as an Alumni Ambassador and a favorite photo from your time abroad. These materials need to be sent by the application deadline to alumni@aifs.com. We will confirm receipt of your materials by email, and those with whom we want to speak more will be invited to interview with the Alumni Team. Interviews are 15 minutes in length and will be done via Zoom or Skype. All applicants will be notified of their status in the program through email by mid-July. Anyone to whom we are unable to offer an Ambassador position will be invited to join our Alumni Advocate program.

 

What is training like?

Fast-paced! We have roughly two days to cover a lot of information and allow participants time to connect with each other. We provide an Alumni Ambassador Handbook prior to training that all participants are expected to read.

We spend the training allowing Ambassadors time to learn how to articulate their experiences and craft an elevator pitch which they can use on their campuses and in the job search. We have modules that allow participants to get comfortable with presenting at information tables, in classrooms, and with student organizations.

Due to COVID-19, we have moved our training for the 20-21 cohort online, which will be a new experience for all of us. This decision will allow participants to gain the necessary information needed for the role while maintaining government recommended safety protocols. AIFS will provide participants with access to training videos to watch at their convenience and will facilitate online training modules live between 10 am – 6 pm ET on August 3 and 4. Students must be able to attend the entire training in order to participate in the program.

Our top five goals with training are to:

  • Connect with AIFS staff and alumni to share your experience abroad
  • Teach you how to promote studying abroad on your home campus and online
  • Teach you how to present your promotional pitch about studying abroad
  • Teach you the ins and outs of the Ambassador program
  • Lay the groundwork for a year of personal and professional development


Who is eligible?

  • All undergraduate students enrolled full-time at a US college or university
  • Must be available for the duration of the academic year (August early May)
  • Must be in good financial standing with AIFS
  • Participants must attend the online training August 3-4, 2020

 

How do I apply?

Applications for the 2020-21 Ambassador program are now closed. We will reopen them for the following year in April 2021.

If you would like to share your experience abroad, but are not able to participate in the Ambassador program, we encourage you to join the Alumni Advocate program or join our Ask Alumni program. If you have any questions, please email the Alumni Team at alumni@aifs.com.