This year is the third year of a new program at Washburn University called Presidential Ambassadors for International Students (PAIS). PAIS are leaders in the International Office and are available to help all international students in any way they can.
“I think PAIS is fantastic. It helps to internationalize our campus and helps international students stay safe and be successful at Washburn,”said Andy Vogel, the coordinator and international student recruiter at the Washburn International House.
At the end of March, the PAIS had a first meeting which included all new members and some returning members. They got together and discussed the achievements over the year and what they would like to do for the next year. The meeting also discussed how to further internationalize Washburn University, and the attending members came up with many ideas about how to help the international students better. Vogel said before the end of the spring semester, PAIS is going to make a short video with PAIS members sharing study tips, like homework tips and taking notes in class. For next semester, PAIS will work on a library area that provides examples of good papers, excellent notes, MLA style, APA style, good researching examples and citations pages. To enrich international students’ Washburn life, PAIS is planning to host new types of events that reach both American and international students and continue the Culture Nights—nights to experience food and music of a specific culture or country.
“We did an excellent job for international education week and hosted a few very successful and popular gettogethers for international students, something I think we should considering expanding,” said Vogel.
The PAIS program is open to all students who meet the GPA of 3.0 or higher and are involved in at least one extracurricular activity for the duration of year. “This program is a steppingstone for those students looking to work internationally or in the field of international studies, international business, international relations and higher education or live abroad. We welcome more students come to join us ” said Vogel.
To become a PAIS member, the responsibilities include taking the Leadership/Orientation training courses and be available during fall and spring Orientation as guides; be available to guide and council international students throughout the year and help with international programming in the Office of International Programs.
After the yearlong program, PAIS members can receive the Certificate of Service personally signed by Jerry Farley, Washburn University president and an recommendation letter from the Office of International Programs.
“I thought overall, the PAIS has done a great job this year. I also know of numerous times when PAIS has reached out to international students in need from their various countries and provided assistance. I have also had a lot more interest in students wanting to become a part PAIS this semester, so that is good,” said Vogel.