World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh

In the Hot Seat Video Conference
From Sudan to Pittsburgh: A Lost Boy Remembers

April 27, 2015

For this event, students at Trinity High School will work with Mr. Kur to tell his story through a talk-show style discussion. Up to five interactive video conference sites can participate and submit questions ahead of the program.

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Global Blueprint
Interactive workshops to shape Pittsburgh’s international vision

May 7, 2015

You can make a difference in Pittsburgh's global future! Join us as we go through a facilitated exercise to determine small, medium, and long-term strategies needed in becoming a more globally fluent metro area. Your input and feedback are needed as we continue these conversations.

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In partnership with the Heinz Awards, the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh is hosting a Heinz Awards Conversation to introduce the 20th Heinz Award Recipient for Public Policy:

May 13, 2015

Join us for breakfast with internationally renowned water policy expert, Dr. Aaron T. Wolf, who will discuss how cooperation can replace conflict with respect to one of our planet’s most precious resources – water.

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Program Calendar

You can view programs by month by using the drop-down menu below.

Student Ambassador Program
Cultural Competency and International Speaker Visits
November 2012 – May 2013

May 2, 2013

Today’s students will be tomorrow’s leaders. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, knowledge and understanding of other cultures is becoming more essential.

The Student Ambassador Program capitalizes on middle school students’ inherent curiosity to increase their awareness, understanding, and appreciation of world cultures and global issues. By connecting schools with Pittsburgh’s global community, the program is able to enhance student’s cultural competency.

Students will broaden their knowledge of global cultures, geography, and current events around the world. This program is an excellent compliment to diversity initiatives and anti-bullying campaigns and will help engage your students in the world around them.

What is the Student Ambassador Program?
The Student Ambassador Program is a comprehensive global education program for middle schools in the Pittsburgh region. Established by the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh in 2006, the Student Ambassador Program has expanded into a partnership program involving the University of Pittsburgh's Global Studies Center as well as Global Solutions Pittsburgh.

The program is for middle school students and their teachers. The program menu consists of a school visit on Cultural Competency for new schools, an International Speaker school visit, and the culminating Student Ambassador Conference for student leaders. Participating schools are provided with an extensive resource guide and support throughout the program.

Following the program, students complete projects to share their newfound global knowledge.

Program Menu
The Student Ambassador Program is designed to be flexible and responsive to schools’ needs, therefore all menu items are available to participating schools. It is recommended that schools participate in all components of the program. However, in recognition of busy school schedules and restricted budgets, schools are able to select the components they would like to participate in.

Cultural Competency Visit (starting in November for new schools)
During this school visit, students will hear from partnering organization staff who will discuss the importance of cultural competence and engage students in a number of activities to prepare them to interact in a globalized world. Students will also reflect on their own culture and deconstruct cultural stereotypes.

International Speaker Visit (December through April)
During this school visit, an international speaker specially chosen for your students will discuss his or her country and culture and engage students in cultural activities. Previous presentations have included music, dance, art, language, and stories from around the world. Many students comment that their previous impressions and stereotypes are transformed through this visit.

Student Ambassador Conference (May 2, 2013)
The Student Ambassador Conference is the culminating event for the program year and serves as a reward for Student Ambassadors. It will take place on Thursday, May 2, 2013 from 9:00-11:30 a.m. at the University of Pittsburgh. At the Conference, students will see a performance, hear from a keynote speaker, and have the opportunity to attend breakout sessions with international speakers who will engage students in a cultural learning exercise or activity. Following the Conference, Student Ambassadors and teachers will have the option of taking a complimentary guided tour of the Nationality Rooms. The Conference is limited to 350 student leaders — usually 5-15 students per participating school.

Click here to download the Student Ambassador Study Guide.

Who Participates in the Program?
Twenty-three middle schools from Pittsburgh and surrounding areas participated in the program last year, which reached over 2,000 students. Social studies, gifted, world language, English, and art teachers alike can find their curricula enhanced through involvement in this program. All students, particularly those who do not usually have the opportunity to experience global cultures, will benefit from participation. Space is limited to 30 schools per academic school year.

What is the Cost?
The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh, the University of Pittsburgh’s Global Studies Center, and Global Solutions Pittsburgh believe global education is essential for all students. Therefore, this program is offered free of charge for middle schoolers and teachers in the Pittsburgh region. Schools will need to cover transportation to and from the Conference.

Teachers are requested to provide complete information during registration, including preferred dates for school visits, the number of student participants, and grade levels. Curricular information and speaker preferences are also requested. Your detailed registration information will enable the partnering organizations to tailor the program to your school

Please contact Amiena Mahsoob, Deputy Director, Education Programs, World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh or phone: 412-281-7973.

For more information, please visit:

World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh:

University of Pittsburgh’s Global Studies Center:

Global Solutions Pittsburgh:


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