International Student Ambassador Volunteer Program

The International Student Ambassadors (ISA) at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) are a select group of knowledgeable, motivated, and enthusiastic international student leaders that assist International Programs & Partnerships in promoting BGSU and advocating for international student engagement on campus and in the greater Bowling Green community.  The ISA volunteers participate in events involving students, faculty, high-level administrators, and national and local community members.


The benefits of being an ISA at BGSU include:

  • interacting with International Programs & Partnerships leadership
  • interacting with BGSU leadership and faculty
  • interacting with BGSU student groups
  • completing training in areas such as BGSU programs, application and admission processes, campus community, and digital and face-to face communication
  • expanding your network of professionals by meeting prominent BGSU alumni, community members and international officials
  • “giving back” to the community and the University and helping recruit future international students to BGSU
  • participating in the International Student Orientation program to mentor and guide new students
  • receiving a certificate of participation and letter from International Programs & Partnerships
  • An ISA volunteer who has successfully fulfilled his/her duties and continues as a BGSU student but chooses not to reapply as an ambassador may be selected as an Honorary International Student Ambassador by the decision of International Programs & Partnerships staff.






ISA volunteers must meet the following criteria:

  1. Be a student in good academic and immigration standing at BGSU
  2. Be available for various campus and community events throughout the year
  3. Be knowledgeable about his/her home country
  4. Possess a high level of enthusiasm for BGSU
  5. Demonstrate motivation
  6. Successfully complete ISA training
  7. Be outgoing and involved in campus activities
  8. Submit the following information about yourself to be used in marketing materials and at events: Your full name
    • Class level/student type
    • Major/degree program
    • Hometown and country
    • Languages that you speak
    • Activities and honors
    • Work experience
    • Fun fact about you
    • What activities are you involved in?
    • Why did you want to be an International Student Ambassador?
    • Favorite BGSU Memory


The application process for ISA volunteers is selective and completed during the spring semester for a term that begins the subsequent academic year. Ambassadors serve one-year terms and are welcome to reapply for additional terms throughout their degree program at BGSU. The selection committee for ambassadors will be comprised of International Programs & Partnerships staff, as well as one outgoing ISA who is selected from the current ISA volunteers. Students who apply but are not selected are encouraged to participate as a member of the World Student Association (WSA), a student group devoted to promoting cultural exchange and awareness at BGSU. Experience with WSA or other student organizations can improve a student’s chances of being selected in the future as an ISA.


ISA volunteers are expected to attend monthly meetings with the International Programs & Partnerships advisor, as well as participate in the orientation program for new students each fall and spring semester. In addition, ISAs will attend a minimum of two events affiliated with International Programs & Partnership, and attend events such as the annual International Dinner and others upon invitation by International Programs & Partnerships.

Meet our Ambassadors

Contact an ambassador at As these students are active with their studies and extracurricular activities, please allow at least two business days for them to reply. Thank you!

    Ask Us!

We are excited to begin recruiting our new class of International Student Ambassadors for the 2018-2019 academic year. Two information sessions will be held about the ambassador program, and the application is available here. You can also contact our International Student Ambassadors directly! They can be reached at  For more information, please refer to our ambassador website. Applications are due Friday, March 23rd.  

Drop-In Information Sessions, 402 University Hall

Tuesday, January 30th, 1 - 2 and 4 - 5 p.m.

Friday, February 2nd, 1 - 2 and 4 - 5 p.m.


Toghrul Alakbarov

Hometown and home country: Ganja, Azerbaijan
Workforce Education and Development

Fun fact about you: My nickname is Panda.

What activities are you involved in?:
President of Muslim Students Organization
Board member of BGSU Ping Pong Club
Volunteering for Career Center

Why did you want to be an International Student Ambassador?: 

Sharing is caring. I believe I can contribute with my vast experience and assist international students to feel happier, have better results and become an active member of our community

Favorite BGSU Memory:
All this year is a great memory.


Baqer Aljabr

Hometown and home country: Eastern Province, Alhasa City, Saudi Arabia 
Technology Management
Level: Masters

Fun fact about you: I love playing soccer, volleyball, traveling around the world and exploring new countries. Also, I like to read, cook, bake, biking and photography. I received my first camera when I was 12 years old and I have been a wedding photographer since 2007. I always volunteer and help at various events when I have free time.

What activities are you involved in?:
Tech ambassador
Technical leader in Falcon Robotics
Member in BGSU Club Figure Skating
Member in American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Member in The International Honorary for Professions in Technology (Epsilon Pi Tau)
Group leader in Cross Cultural Conversation Program
Active member in Alpha Phi Omega National Services Fraternity

Why did you want to be an International Student Ambassador?:
I want to share my experience with international students and help them to understand American customs. As an International Student Ambassador, I encourage my new friends to take advantage of the opportunities they will provide, get involved on campus to make friends, and to gain leadership skills.

Favorite BGSU Memory:
The E-Week, especially the Hatch event because I presented my own entrepreneurial idea on stage. Also, International Week because I was able to represent my country by carrying the flag in the stadium.     


Omar Helal Almethen

Hometown and home country: Mishref City, Kuwait   
Level: Senior
Fun fact about you:
I have a lisp that just appear when I speak my first language, which is Arabic.

What activities are you involved in?:
In addition to be an International Student Ambassador, I am the Marketing and Public Relation chair of a campus-wide initiative to promote social justice through sport, called WE ARE ONE TEAM (WA1T). I also work as a photographer for the College of Business and a production assistant for WBGU-TV.

Why did you want to be an International Student Ambassador?:
I want to be an International Student Ambassador because I want to help the international students to adjust and be part of this new culture. When I came to the United States, it was very hard to learn the culture and make friends. Therefore, I would love to make BGSU the new home for the International Students

Favorite BGSU Memory: There is so many memories at BGSU, Most of my favorite memories are related to my involvements, job experience, friends, and people at this town. BGSU is my HOME! 


Ashkan Dastani

Hometown and home country: Hyderabad, India    
Computer science 
Level: Junior
Fun fact about you:
I can make my eyebrows dance.

What activities are you involved in?:
I am an active member of a social fraternity "Tau Kappa Epsilon". I am also the Vice President of India Student Association.

Why did you want to be an International Student Ambassador?:
I wanted to become an international student ambassador because I believe that Bowling Green State University has given me a lot of opportunity to grow as a person and I would like to give back. I also wanted to become an ambassador because I was really fascinated by work done by the previous student ambassadors and the way they helped the new incoming students to find home away from their home in Bowling Green. 

Favorite BGSU Memory: 
Campus Fest and joining the fraternity Tau Kappa Epsilon are the best memories for me in BGSU. 


Sanjhi Dhaval Gandhi

Hometown: Nairobi, Kenya   
Home country:
Level: Undergraduate, Junior
Fun fact about you:
-I own a pet tortoise
-I can move my ears without touching them

What activities are you involved in?:
-International Student Ambassador with International Student Services
-Campus Tour guide with Office of Admissions
-Student Neuroscience Association (SNA) president, (Fall 2014-Spring- 2016) 
-Toastmasters club (Public speaking and communication club)
-Part of a Leadership Honors Society (Omicron Kappa Delta)
-Part of the leadership certificate program on campus, and Inclusive Leadership Certificate

Why did you want to be an International Student Ambassador?:
I applied to be a student ambassador to share my passion for Bowling Green State University with prospective students. I have really enjoyed my years in BGSU, and I thought it would be great to share my experiences, help, educate, and be a leader. I love meeting new people, seeing new faces, and networking. This position enables me to do all of this, and enjoy myself as well. Since the day I came to BGSU, I have grown a lot as a person, and I really wanted to reach out to anyone who was struggling, curious, or just wanted someone to talk to. This position really helps me pursue my passion, give back to the university, and adds to my personal growth.

Favorite BGSU Memory: I have had several memories of BGSU, but my favorite of all has been Opening Weekend. This was the first weekend when I moved on campus, and we had several events going on. I was very excited, nervous, and full of mixed emotions in a new country and campus, because I didn't know a lot of people. There was ice-skating, comedy shows, picnics, and scavenger hunts where I met a lot of new people. This was one weekend where I really opened up and made a lot of my friends, and was the beginning of my wonderful journey at BGSU.


Yannick Guenther Kluch

Hometown and home country: Hamburg, Germany
Major: Media and Communications
Level: Doctoral
Fun fact about you: I am an identical twin! I also lived in New Zealand and attended a single-sex school for six months my junior year of high school.  

What activities are you involved in?:
Aside from being an International Student Ambassador, I am also the founding president of a campus-wide initiative to promote social justice through sport, called WE ARE ONE TEAM (WA1T). I also serve on the President’s Advisory Council for Diversity and Inclusion (PACODI) and the university-wide Committee for Changing Campus Culture regarding sexual violence and assault (CCCC).

Why did you want to be an International Student Ambassador?:

I have had the time of my life at BGSU, made life-long friends here, and created great memories that I will always treasure. I wanted to be an International Student Ambassador to help other international students have an equally amazing experience here by making BGSU their new home.

Favorite BGSU Memory: There’s so many! Many of my favorite memories are related to my involvement with WE ARE ONE TEAM (WA1T). I also love going to our many sporting events on campus!


Hiu Yan (Crystal) Lau

Hometown and home country: Hong Kong
 Voice Performance, specializing in Voice Science and Pedagogy
Level: Second-year Graduate student

Fun fact about you: I can say "I love you" in 8 languages! (Hint hint - great conversation starter!)

What activities are you involved in?:
I am a member of Collegiate Chorale, and was a part of the Opera Ensemble last semester. I am also serve as Scholarship Singer at the First United Methodist Church.

Why did you want to be an International Student Ambassador?:
Being an international student is not easy as it sounds - it takes a lot of physical and mental adjustments even before one sets foot into the States. I want to be a cheerleader for my fellow international students, by sharing my personal experience.

Favorite BGSU Memory:
I had a great time at the End of the Year Party! What I really loved about it was hanging out my fellow International Student Ambassadors and other international students as well! 




Octavian Moldovean

Hometown and home country: Brașov, Romania
Major: Doctor in Musical Arts
Level: Doctoral
Fun fact about you: I LOVE singing in the shower ... and when I drive/walk

What activities are you involved in?:
Intramural Soccer, Acting, Performing

Why did you want to be an International Student Ambassador?: So I can share who I am and what I do with the world and to meet new people.

Favorite BGSU Memory: 
Start of school during fall 2014, when I first came to BGSU - I found $7 in University Hall, I got my first phone and I won 2 raffles at the Global Connections International Dinner.    


Rita Subba

Hometown and home country: Bhaktapur, Nepal
 School Counseling
Level: Masters

Fun fact about you: I know a few jokes that may or may not be funny but because I inform people when to laugh, I always get some good laughs.

What activities are you involved in?:
I am the cultural secretary of Nepal Student Association at BGSU, and I do random volunteer works on and off campus.

Why did you want to be an International Student Ambassador?:
Being an International Student Ambassador gives me a platform and an official designation to help new international students navigate the academic and social life at a completely different academic and social setting. Honestly, I take it as my way of giving back what I have received. I would not have come this far if I had not received the support, advice and help from others, and I would like to extend the same helping hand that I had been privileged to.

Favorite BGSU Memory:
During my first year at BGSU, I participated in annual 5k Run/Walk event organized to promote social justice, diversity and inclusiveness. As I was walking (running looks painful to me), a gentleman greeted me on the way and we started walking together to the finishing line. He was very friendly, curious about my academic life and my adjustment to BGSU as a new student. We talked about half of the things under the sky, if I may claim. He told me that he was the Provost of BGSU, which I understood after a colleague explained to me who and what a Provost was. I was really touched by his concerns, and also by his down to earth personality. It was a humbling experience. Among many memories at BGSU, this one, I will cherish as long as I can.




Wen Wang

Hometown and home country: Inner Mongolia, China
 Management Information Systems and Business Intelligence and Analysis
Level: Senior

Fun fact about you: I love kids and their innocent world. I have lots of friends much younger than me.

What activities are you involved in?:
I was a treasurer in World Student Association and a group leader in CCCC. I am also the new president of Chinese Students & Scholars Association.

Why did you want to be an International Student Ambassador?:
With my experience as an international student, I have learned that it is hard to adjust a new environment with a different language and culture. I know all of the struggles and questions they may have since these are the same things I had when I first got here.

I have grown a lot not only in academic but also in leadership since the day I came to BGSU. I want to be an international student ambassador so that I am able to share my experience and stories to help and encourage new international students to seek for their own success. Additionally, I would love to meeting new friends and believe I will gain friendship and happiness through this position.

Favorite BGSU Memory:

I have had lots of good memories about BGSU, and it is hard to pick a favorite one. But if I have to choose, there was one thing that totally changed my understanding of America culture. It was during the first week I came to BGSU, and I was so nervous and shy with poor English. One day, I went to the Oaks, but I forgot my wallet. I felt so embarrassed and was going to walk back to get my wallet. At the moment that I just turned to leave, the girl who stood next to me paid my bill and leave fast. I was so touched and grateful that she saved me from embarrassing. I started to try my best to help from then on, since I know that my little help means a lot to people who need help.




Asaad Abdul Haleem Al Sabbagh

Hometown and country: Muscat, Oman
Business Administration
Undergraduate, Junior

Fun fact about you: I love traveling around the world & exploring new countries.

What activities are you involved in?: I wanted to be an international student ambassador to help other student’s better cope here when they first come.

Favorite BGSU Memory: The international dinner last year











Abdoulie Jaiteh

Hometown and home country: Lamin in The Gambia
Major: Aviation Management and Operations
Level: Undergraduate, Senior
Fun fact about you:
I love jogging, playing soccer and currently I have become a BGSU ice hockey fan, thanks to my BG family host family friend who introduced me to the ice hockey games.

What activities are you involved in?:
I take part in many on-campus activities including student organizations and leadership positions. I took part in one of the most outstanding student leadership training, The Leadershape where we spend about a week retreat learning and practicing good leadership practices. I have been part of the undergraduate student government where I served as the senator. Also, I served as the student representative to the BGSU aviation faculty advisory board as an assistant secretary and I am currently the vice president of the BGSU Muslim Students Association.

Why did you want to be an International Student Ambassador?:

I am an international student ambassador, a function I dearly love. I have chosen to become a student ambassador to assist with incoming freshman, sharing and helping out with their orientation processes, adjustment to life in Bowling Green and BGSU, and serving as a student resource person on issues that affect international students. I am loving this as it gives me the opportunity to interact and know as many people and broaden my scope on multicultural affairs.

Favorite BGSU Memory: My favorite memories about BGSU are the experience from the leadership training and the fun at ice hockey games. I cannot also forget the good families and friends I met here who invite me to many dinners and social evenings.

Shrinkhala Upadhyaya

Hometown and home country: New Delhi, India
Major: Media and Communication, specializing in health communication
Level: PhD student (Fourth year)
Fun fact about you:
 I will start with a trait which I am proud to have and it is that I am able to strike conversations with unknown people very easily. Another fun fact might be my irreplaceable and recurrent fear of pets being around me or specifically can’t handle if they touch or lick (Sorry in advance if I offended anyone)                                       

What activities are you involved in?:
I have been an International Student Ambassador since 2014; India Student Association’s (ISA) Vice President in 2015-16 and still an active member of ISA; Graduate Student Senate for media and communication in 2014; I am also involved in several research groups.

Why did you want to be an International Student Ambassador?: I wanted to be an international student ambassador because I always wanted to be the helping hand that I received when I first came to BGSU. In addition, I simply love meeting new people and getting to individuals from various countries representing various cultures. There is always so much to learn every day from so many people that I meet as a part of being an ambassador. I even enjoy organizing as well as planning events and even being an active part of the ones that happen on campus.

Favorite BGSU Memory: 
Since the day I have come to BGSU, I have gathered so many memories that can be classified as impeccable; especially, with the people that I have met here and the friends that I have made in this community. I might want to mention two: I think my first day of teaching the undergraduate class of public speaking might classify as one of the best and the most haunting (at the time) memories that I will have and probably can never forget. However, the first few days of orientation when I had no clue about what is happening and what I have to do or am I missing some paperwork is another exciting part of studying abroad for the first time.

Pempho Daza Chinkondenji

Hometown and home country: Lilongwe, Malawi
Major: Cross-cultural and International Education
Level: Masters
Fun fact about you: I graduated from undergrad when I was 19 years old; this is very uncommon in Malawi.

What activities are you involved in?:

I enjoy serving and volunteering for organizations on campus and off-campus.  I serve on the Graduate Student Senate Executive Committee as the International Affairs Chair.  I am the vice president and founding member of AAUW@BGSU as well as the president of PPSEAWA USA, Toledo Chapter.

Why did you want to be an International Student Ambassador?:
With my experience as an international student, I have learned that it is not easy to adjust into an entirely new community without the support and encouragement from other students, especially those that may come from a similar culture or region.  There is always that urge to relate and learn from other students that have gone through similar experiences like the ones that you are going through.  I wanted to become an ambassador so that I can be able to encourage other students and help with orienting them into the community because this is the same thing I needed when I first got here.  Additionally, I desire to develop my professional skills, and being an ambassador has substantially helped me expand my network and improve my intercultural abilities.  

Favorite BGSU Memory: The 2015 barn dance with Global Connections.



Fangyu Qian

Hometown and home country: Shenyang, China
Major: Mathematics & Computer Science Minor
Level: Undergraduate, Senior
Fun fact about you:
I have brown eyes, and I know all lyrics from the song “Unsteady."                                       

What activities are you involved in?:
I am currently an International Ambassador, and the new President of the World Student Association.

Why did you want to be an International Student Ambassador?: I still remember all the struggles that I had when I came to the United States, and I thought it would be very nice for all new international students to be aware that we are here to help them in any way.

Favorite BGSU Memory:
Despite China being a big country, I had very limited opportunities to make international friends. I think one of the greatest memories of mine was the fact that I attended the International Student Orientation, and through that, I made a lot of friends in my freshman year.