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Three young women sit on the grass at the Arboretum on the UC Davis campus. The woman on the left has long straight dark hair and wears glasses and a navy UC Davis hoodie. She has a large sketch pad on her lap. The woman in the middle has long straight black hair worn in a half ponytail. She wears a yellow sweater and has a large sketch pad on her lap. The woman on the right has a maroon wool hat, a deep pink flannel shirt and sits cross legged with her shoes off. She talks to the other two women.
As students return to the UC Davis campus for the start of the fall quarter, mentors in the Global Ambassador Mentorship Program prepare to welcome new undergraduate international students with events, guidance and friendship. Student mentors can help ease the transition for new international students as they acclimate to life in the United States at UC Davis. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

Becoming a Mentor, Becoming a Friend

UC Davis Global Ambassador Mentorship Program Welcomes Students Back to Campus

When coming into a new environment, finding an uplifting community is vital for feeling welcomed, unafraid, and eager to explore. Through the Global Ambassador Mentorship Program at UC Davis, new first-year and transfer undergraduate international students are matched with current students based on similar social and academic interests in order to foster a greater sense of belonging and friendship. Through social events like group dinners in downtown Davis and game nights, new students and their mentors share their cultures and develop relationships based on cultural awareness and mutual appreciation.

Getting to Know the 2021-22 Mentors

Global Ambassador Mentorship Program student coordinators and mentors share their academic and personal interests, along with messages to new international students.

Learn about the mentors

The Global Ambassador mentors are students eager to help incoming international students navigate U.S. university culture while also honoring students’ home culture, like Arista Wu, a fourth-year civil and environmental engineering major who says: “The collaborations and the bridging formed between individuals from different countries and cultural backgrounds enrich everyone's perspective, for there is shared knowledge of others' cultures.”

With a new year of new students rapidly approaching, the 2021-22 Global Ambassador Mentors are more excited than ever to begin making lasting friendships and impart some of their learned wisdom about UC Davis.  By hosting small one-on-one conversations with their mentees, acting as cultural interpreters, and answering questions that new international students may have, mentors become true resources with actual experience on campus and in classes for their students.

“It's all a process! Even as someone who had to make friends every couple of years and adjust to new environments, college was a tough transition for me even if my family was just 100 miles away so don't be discouraged at first! I'm looking forward to meeting everybody and hearing about all the cool places [my mentees] are from (and the foods, of course),” says Kenzo Morabia, a third-year international relations major and new Global Ambassador Mentor.

Although an aspect of any friendship is companionship, another key aspect is emotional support. While the mentors provide support with academics and university social life, they also act as listeners, cheerleaders, and shoulders to lean on. Being that the mentors are current students, they understand the challenges of adjusting to a new university and often give practical and personalized advice to their student mentees. Margaret "Macy" Lee, a Global Ambassador Mentor and third-year psychology and international relations double major, offers advice by saying: “Remember that in your journey in college, do everything with a purpose and with empathy. Focus on what matters and be yourself and everything else will follow.”

Mentee applications are now open to students who wish to receive mentorship during the 2021-22 academic year. The program is open to first-year or transfer undergraduate international students who seek a global support community, genuine friendship, and lasting connections.

Apply to receive mentorship

Meet the Mentors

  • Haley Ali, mentor
  • Hashem Bkayrat, mentor
  • Odelia Chong, mentor
  • Abdallah Hashem, mentor
  • Mangurleen Kaur, mentor
  • Eindra Khine, mentor
  • Youngyun Kim, mentor
  • Margaret "Macy" Lee, mentor
  • Isabella Medina Silva, mentor
  • Aditi Mahajan, mentor
  • Budi Maharaj, mentor
  • Pavel Martinez, mentor
  • Emma Minter, mentor
  • Kenzo Morabia, mentor
  • Vy Nguyen, mentor
  • Helena Ngo, mentor
  • Cem Nesiri, mentor
  • Amy Salim, mentor
  • Rachelle Taveau, mentor
  • Ritz Tolentino, student coordinator
  • Phoebe Wang, student coordinator
  • Arista Wu, mentor
  • Zeyue (Sandy) Xie, mentor
  • ManLam (Minnie) Yu
  • Meena Yuqob

About Services for International Students and Scholars

Services for International Students and Scholars (SISS), within Global Affairs, is helping to build a campus community that includes students and scholars from over 140 countries and six continents. SISS serves more than 10,000 international students, faculty, and researchers and their accompanying family members who come to UC Davis each year.  We welcome the world to UC Davis.

As a part of Global Affairs, Services for International Students and Scholars aims to inspire global curiosity, understanding, and engagement.

About Global Affairs

Global Affairs brings the world to UC Davis, welcoming more than 10,000 international students, scholars and leaders, and hosting programs that inspire global curiosity, understanding and engagement. Compelled by the valuable outcomes of thinking globally, we make transformative opportunities a reality by supporting the thousands of students and faculty learning and researching globally—and by facilitating collaborations that tackle the world’s most pressing challenges through more than 150 global partnerships. Putting our vision of a UC Davis community that engages, thrives, and leads in this interconnected world into action, Global Affairs is in pursuit of an ambitious goal: Global Education for All.

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