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Programs and Activities

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Program Overview

From Global Ambassador-led events to Scholar Coffee Breaks, there are ongoing opportunities to get involved and meet international and domestic students and scholars. SISS offers events, programs, and opportunities for international students, scholars, and families at UC Davis to explore the campus and the local community. If you are interested in a long-term volunteer commitment, read about the Global Ambassador Mentorship Program.

Programs Open to Everyone

Global Learning Conference

Your global perspectives are valuable in today’s interconnected world. Come learn to articulate and market those skills in your career search while advancing your personal and professional goals. This conference will provide opportunities to network, showcase your experience in your resume and cover letter, hear from seasoned professionals in a variety of fields, connect with like-minded peers, and explore resources and opportunities for your future. Hosted by UC Davis Global Learning Hub.

Connections at International House Davis

International House Davis (I-House) has been greeting newcomers to the Davis area for more than five decades. Although programming at I-House has changed during the pandemic, they are still serving as a social gathering space where people from all over the world come together. They host a variety of programs for all ages and from all backgrounds.

Undergraduate Student Programs

Global Ambassador Mentorship Program

The Global Ambassador Mentorship Program is designed to help new freshmen and transfer international students adjust and thrive on the UC Davis campus. The students who run the program, the Global Ambassadors, act as mentor fellows and, most importantly, as friends to help new international students excel in their new lives as UC Davis students. Participants will be able to share their culture and values with their mentor and receive support from them.

UC Davis Pal Program 

The Pal Program pairs up UC Davis undergraduate students for intercultural conversation experiences. Participants can use these sessions to increase their intercultural awareness, practice a target language, and develop friendships.

Global Engagement Opportunity Living-Learning Community

The Global Engagement Opportunity (GEO) is a one-year residential living-learning community that provides students an opportunity to engage in cross-cultural exchange. Students will also collaboratively learn about and address global issues in an equitable and sustainable way. This community is open to all incoming first-year students—whether national or international—who are interested in participating in academic seminars, peer mentorship, and programming with a global focus. New first-year students can join the GEO LLC within their Student Housing Application through MyAdmissions.

Foundations for University Success for International Students

This is a 2-unit course in which international students may register each quarter of their first year at UC Davis. This course is offered by the School of Education and co-sponsored by Services for International Students and Scholars (SISS). It provides new international students with the tools to succeed in their first year at UC Davis. Students study and discuss the issues that challenge all of us and explore their interests, both academically and personally.

Graduate Student Programs

Certificate Series

This series encourages graduate students and postdocs to consider how their research and career aspirations position them to respond to global challenges. Participants will be provided insights from mid- and late-career professionals on how to improve networking and leadership skills for success in intercultural work environments, whether in the public, private, or academic sectors. The current available series explores concepts of DEI to prepare participants to contribute to more inclusive workplaces and communicate DEI competency to future employers.

Scholar Program and Activities 

Scholar Coffee Breaks

Whether you are new to campus or have been here for several months, international scholars are invited to join SISS in this welcoming and virtual space to connect with each other at the monthly SISS Scholar Coffee Break.

Scholar Evening Discussions

Hosted and led by UC Davis Global Affairs staff, these quarterly virtual discussions explore a topic of American culture or life to help international scholars feel more acclimated to the United States. Past topics have included U.S. grocery stores and tipping at restaurants. Learn practical information while connecting with fellow international scholars.

Certificate Series

Participate in our certificate series—an opportunity to meet and learn about some of the global leaders at UC Davis. Series guests will share their professional journey and career development, highlighting what it means to be a global leader and how to be successful in an increasingly international workplace. Limited seating available.