Meet Our August & September Ambassadors of the Month

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Ashley Houston
September 24, 2015

Each month as part of our Ambassador Program we award the Ambassador of the Month title to two Ambassadors who have shown exceptional dedication to international education by taking part in a variety of outreach activities both on their campuses and online.

This month, we will be recognizing both our August and September Ambassador of the Month (AOTM) awardees. Our August AOTM awardees are Sergio Rodriguez (European Union, Fall 2014) and Jessie Fontana-Maisel (Rome, Fall 2014). September’s AOTM awardees are Robert Wongkamalasai (Paris, Fall 2014) and Anna Zambelli (Nantes, Fall 2014)

Sergio Rodriguez is currently a student at Pomona College, and works as a peer advisor on campus to promote education abroad opportunities. Sergio has taken an active role in organizing several study abroad related events on his campus where he discusses the European Union program and other education abroad opportunities. To further his impact, Sergio uses social media and completes online projects to promote study abroad opportunities.

Sergio says this about his work as an IES Abroad Ambassador, "Studying abroad in Germany has been one of the most enriching and fulfilling experiences I have ever embarked on. I saw the magical cities of Paris, Barcelona, and Rome; I tasted authentic foods in Brussels and Madrid; I saw several wonders of the world, and slept under starry skies in a foreign land. Being an IES Abroad Ambassador has allowed me to share my experience with others who are just as passionate for traveling and just as hungry for adventure as I am."

Jessie Fontana-Maisel takes initiative to share her study abroad story with students on Occidental College’s campus through her work as a peer advisor. Additionally, Jessie has served on several study abroad panels and attended study abroad fairs to promote education abroad. To reach a wider audience of students, Jessie emails IES Abroad students interested studying in Rome and uses other online platforms to share her story.

In Jessie’s words, “I love being an IES Abroad Ambassador because I am able to educate my peers about the potential to learn about history, art, religion, new cultures, and more by offering information about study abroad. By being a helpful resource, I know I am encouraging more students to go abroad and interact with new people and places in order to continue the globalization of my generation. I can only hope that other students have as fulfilling experiences as I had whilst abroad!”

Robert Wongkamalasai attends University of Iowa and has brought his love of French culture to campus by helping at study abroad fairs and education abroad events. This summer, Robert also met with our staff to provide advice and insight about diverse students studying abroad. Through assistance with online Ambassador projects, Robert has shared his experience with students nationwide.

According to Robert, “Being an IES Abroad Ambassador provides an opportunity to apply what I learned during my time abroad to my current life back in the U.S. Not only do I work on how to personally develop, but the Ambassador program tests me at how well I can help others expand themselves. This chance to reflect and share my experience in France has shaped my ability to influence other's self-confidence and preparation for their own experience of a lifetime.”

Anna Zambelli currently studies at Northwestern University and is spending a semester interning in New York City. As a Nantes alumna, Anna has promoted education abroad opportunities in smaller cities on Northwestern’s campus through hosting study abroad information sessions in her classes. Additionally, Anna has assisted with study abroad fairs on campus and helped with online education abroad outreach.

In Anna’s words, “I really think that more students should consider studying in smaller cities that offer more opportunities for immersion. Being an IES Abroad Ambassador allows me to share my experience with students who might not have heard of Nantes otherwise.”

Congratulations, Sergio, Jessie, Robert, and Anna!

The IES Abroad Ambassador Program is designed to connect our future students with our past students. There are currently over 800 active Ambassadors representing the IES Abroad Consortium membership and our 120+ programs worldwide. Interested in learning more about our Ambassador Program or have a question for a past IES Abroad student? Visit our IES Abroad Ambassadors page to learn more.

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Ashley Houston

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