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.
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 email:email@example.com 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: