Our November Ambassador of the Month awardees are Caroline Sterling (Beijing Language Intensive, Spring 2015) and Gabriella Billadeau (Dublin Irish Studies, Spring 2015).
Caroline Sterling is an East Asian Studies major at University of Rochester. After returning home from Beijing, she became actively involved in study abroad outreach on her campus helping to promote less traditional study abroad destinations like Beijing. She serves as the Returnee Programming Intern in the Center for Education Abroad at University of Rochester. Caroline enjoys serving as a peer advisor to mentor other students considering studying abroad. This fall, she is organizing an open mic event for study abroad returnees hosted by the University of Rochester’s Center for Education Abroad and the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. She also helps with study abroad events on campus including study abroad fairs and information sessions. You can learn more about Caroline and her time in Beijing in her GoAbroad featured alumni interview.
Caroline says, “My work as an Ambassador helped me to develop relationships on campus with other study abroad returnees and sparked my interest in filling the need for a comprehensive returnee network. Being an IES Abroad Ambassador has clarified my passion for not only promoting global unity and cultural understanding, but also creating opportunities for others to do the same.”
Gabriella Billadeau is studying English at Ithaca College. She returned from her spring semester in Dublin ready to inspire other students to study abroad. Gabriella took the initiative to organize study abroad information sessions with different residence halls on campus, and has given her study abroad perspective on two study abroad student panels. As an Ambassador, Gabriella also supports our IES Abroad Representatives when they visit campus by helping at IES Abroad information sessions. She also manages a Facebook group for Ithaca Ambassadors to help coordinate outreach activities of the other IES Abroad Ambassadors on her campus. Through emailing with students preparing to study in Dublin, she enjoys connecting with students studying in Dublin from campuses across the United Stated.
In Gabriella’s words, “My favorite part about being an IES Abroad Ambassador is the opportunity to answer questions from students who want to study abroad but don’t know where to begin. I felt like that as I applied and then as I packed for Dublin, so any time I can make that scenario easier for someone else makes me feel like I’m helping. I also love having the opportunity to share stories and memories of my adventures in Europe—it was the best thing I’ve ever done, and I love talking about it!”
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.
The IES Abroad Ambassador Program is designed to connect our future students with our past students. There are currently more than 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.