Ambassadors set to help global students transition to Baylor

By Shannon Barbour
Staff Writer

This fall, student ambassadors will help 200 students from around the world adapt to Baylor.

These student ambassadors will be part of the new Center for Global Engagement Ambassador Program.

“Student leaders are selected to serve incoming international students when they first arrive and their main goal is to welcome international students and help them get adjusted,” said Mark Bryant, assistant director of International Student and Scholar Services.

The new program will begin a few days before Welcome Week so the international students can go through their own orientation programs and events, such as President and Chancellor Ken Starr’s Welcome Dinner and the International Student Conference.

The selected ambassadors will attend these events with the new students in addition to picking them up from the Waco airport, taking them shopping, taking them on tours of Baylor campus and other activities.

“We’re hoping that Baylor students who have studied abroad would be interested in this,” Bryant said. However, he would like anyone with travel experience or international interests to apply for the program.

Collin O’Brien, Dallas junior, has studied, worked and traveled abroad and said he likes the idea of this new program.

“I think it’s a good program because it is hard to become accustomed to a new culture,” O’Brien said. “The new ambassador program will help the new international students transition into their new stage of being a college student in America.”

Bryant used this program during his time at The University of Tennessee and said he wants to bring it to Baylor and expand it in the future.

“This year is a pilot to see if it will be a good fit for Baylor and if the students who participate enjoy it,” Bryant said. ”We’ll do this this fall and at least another couple of times and see if it has a valuable impact. We hope to expand it to where they are ambassadors for the whole Center for International Education.”

Bryant said international students and the new ambassadors will all benefit from the new program.

“I want them to feel welcome and I want them to have a first contact with American students,” Bryant said. “I want an opportunity for American students to connect with what’s going on internationally on campus. Building that international or intercultural competency for student leaders.”