Continuing Your International Exploration & Experience

There are multiple ways to stay involved with the Study Abroad office, other study abroad participants, and international students studying at UMSL We are always in need of students to volunteer their time, especially at the beginning of the semester, to:

Email studyabroad@umsl.edu to let us know how you plan to share your experience the UMSL community.

Explore the tabs below for information on being an ambassador, earning a certificate, entering contests, going abroad again, working/teaching abroad, and updating your resume.

UMSL MOSAIC Ambassadors

UMSL Mosaic Ambassadors is UMSL’s international student buddy program designed to provide all new international students with the opportunity to be paired with an internationally minded current UMSL student. New students are called “buddies” and current students are called “ambassadors.” This program is affiliated with the St. Louis Mosaic Project.

Who can join?

Buddy: This program is for new international students and current UMSL students. All new international students can apply to be a buddy.

Ambassador: Both current and recently graduated UMSL students are welcome to apply to be ambassadors. You do not need to have previous international experience, but should have an open-mind and interest in other cultures.

Benefits

In addition to meeting new, fun international and current UMSL students, you will also gain:

  • A chance to share interest in international cultures and experiences
  • Excellent mentorship and team building experiences
  • Better communication and interpersonal skills
  • Greater self-awareness (values, interests, goals) and knowledge of intercultural issues
  • Good resume/CV addition

“I got to meet international friends who I still keep in touch with today. Along with new friendships, leading as an ambassador of an international studies program was just a little something extra to add to a résumé, and aided in my immediate hire post- graduation as a Maritz Travel Director.” – Rachel LeGrand

"I have had the opportunity to build a lasting friendship that would never had happened, thanks to the MOSAIC ambassador program. Bonding with my 'buddy' has been an experience that could only happen once in a lifetime. The MOSIAC ambassador program has given me the chance to connect with multiple individuals from around the world. I have been seasoned with cultured friendships that have molded me into a more well-rounded person." – Ashlee Carlstrom

How do I apply?

The sooner you apply, the sooner you can be matched with a buddy or ambassador.

  • Buddies: All new incoming international students are invited to apply to be paired with an UMSL student. The application and deadline is included in your admissions packet.
    Priority application deadline for Fall 2017 is July 10.
    Buddy Application
  • Ambassadors: Current UMSL students who are interested in assisting new international students in settling in at UMSL are encouraged to apply. Ambassadors are chosen for the program through an application and selection process. Applicants should be current or recently graduated UMSL students in good standing, have strong communication skills, and be enthusiastic and welcoming to students from all cultural and religious backgrounds.
    Priority application deadline for Fall 2017 is June 15.
    Ambassador Application

As an UMSL buddy, what are my responsibilities?

Be open to meeting new people and make the effort to ask questions and get to know your ambassador. Feel free to reach out to your ambassador as well as to accept invitations they make.

As an UMSL ambassador, what are my responsibilities?

Your main role is that of a mentor for assigned incoming international students, providing them with firsthand knowledge of university life, and student life in Missouri/the USA. As their mentor, you will help new students become more acclimated and involved on campus and help them make the most of their experience at UMSL! By pairing you with incoming students prior to their arrival, this can be up to a four month commitment (up to two months prior to arrival, and two months into the semester).

Specific ambassador responsibilities include:

  • Attend a program orientation and a planning meeting, where you will develop excursions for arrival week, learn about the procedures for airport pickups, and meet other UMSL ambassadors.
  • Introduce yourself to your buddies and be available for contact before their arrival. Your buddies may need assistance in finding answers to questions they have about the University and city prior to arrival.
  • Pick your buddies up from the airport (if they request).
  • Lead excursions during arrival week and attend relevant international student orientation events. A complete list of activities will be distributed at the program orientation and planning meeting.
  • Help your buddies with arrival matters such as becoming familiar with the University and student resources, building upon their language and communication skills (if necessary), helping to navigate the US academic structure, and assisting with local transportation needs around St. Louis during arrival week. Students with a vehicle should offer to assist their buddy with needs immediately upon arrival such as grocery shopping, purchasing a cell phone plan, etc.
  • Serve as a continuing contact during your buddies’ first few weeks.During the first two weeks of the semester, you will meet with your buddy once per week for coffee, lunch, or for a fun activity. This is a great time to get to know each other, discuss how they are adjusting to life in the US and our academic system, and offer your support. After the first two weeks, make yourself available and check in with your buddy once every other week for the next two months. We encourage you to continue the relationship beyond this time, but it will depend on the connection you have formed together.
  • Invite your buddies to spend time together with your friends and family.Introducing your buddies to more people is one of the greatest impacts you can have. If possible, invite them to your home for a traditional holiday or explore local restaurants and communities.
  • Promote International House events and Study Abroad opportunities.
  • Distribute the St. Louis Mosaic Project flyer.

For more information and to submit your Ambassador Application, please contact Rebecca Kehe, keher@umsl.edu(314) 516-5229

Consider pairing your study abroad experience with your language skills to earn a Certificate in Modern Language and Study Abroad.

Or continue your international journey here on campus with a Certificate in International Studies.

The United Nations Day Contest each fall awards scholarships for best essay, best art, and best website design.

Each Spring there is an International Photo Contest that awards prizes for the best photos with an international focus.

Undergraduate Study

Still an undergraduate student? Want to study abroad with UMSL again? Visit our semester and yearlong program pages. Interested in a shorter program? We have programs that take place during the Winter Intersession (January) or over the summer (May-July). Visit Triton Globetrotter to explore all that we have to offer!


Graduate Study/ International Research Abroad

We have plenty of programs (short-term or semester) that offer graduate-level credit. Visit Triton Globetrotter to explore all that we have to offer!

Are you interested in earning your master degree or participating in research abroad? Explore some of these resources below to learn more and discover what would be the right fit for you!

If you are an UMSL student participating in independent research or other academic program abroad (regardless of whether or not you receive credit), make sure to visit the Triton Travel, the UMSL Travel Registry page for the required processes. Below are a few post-graduation opportunities. If you are currently an UMSL student seeking grant or fellowship opportunities, visit our scholarship page for more ideas.

Marshall Scholarship: Marshall Scholarships finance young Americans of high ability to study for a degree in the United Kingdom. At least forty Scholars are selected each year to study either at graduate or occasionally undergraduate level at an UK institution in any field of study. Each scholarship is held for two years.

Rhodes Scholar: Rhodes Scholars are elected for two years of graduate study at the University of Oxford, with the possibility of renewal for a third year.

Blakemore Foundation: These grants fund a short term or year of advanced Asian language study at approved centers in Asia. Blakemore Freeman Fellowships are available to American citizens and permanent residents of the United States who have a college degree and who plan to use an Asian language in their career. Approximate deadline: December 30.

The Confucious China Studies Program supports doctoral and master's degree students to undertake advanced language training, coursework, and guided research related to Chinese studies at a Chinese institution. Deadline: January/February

Schwarzman Scholars is a highly selective international scholarship program designed to prepare future leaders for success in a world where China plays a key global role. Deadline: October

The Whitaker International Program supports international collaboration in the growing field of biomedical engineering, from graduating seniors to post-doctorate degree holders. In addition to support research, it encourages grantees to engage in policy work and propose projects in an industry setting. 

If you are interested in gaining work or volunteer experience in an international setting, these links might be a good place to start exploring your options. Remember there are many, many more resources available online outside of these links!

Association for International Practical Training (AIPT): Summer internship placements for current students enrolled in technical fields such as engineering, computer science, architecture, natural and physical sciences, or agricultural sciences. If you have found your own internship, AIPT can provide a work visa.

BUNAC: Work/travel programs to Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Volunteer programs in South Africa and Peru.

DAAD: The German Academic Exchange Service offers several different scholarship, internship, and work programs in Germany.

Foreign Service Officer: Foreign Service Officers (FSOs) help formulate and implement the foreign policy of the United States. An essential part of the frontline personnel at all U.S. embassies, consulates, and diplomatic missions, they will be found at nearly 265 locations worldwide as well as in Washington, D.C.

JobsAbroad: Database of international job opportunities.

Peace Corps: Peace Corps Volunteers work in countries around the world in the following areas: education, youth outreach, and community development; health and HIV/AIDS; agriculture and environment; business development; and information technology. Within these areas, the specific duties and responsibilities of each Volunteer can vary widely.

Transatlantic Program: Two to six month paid internship in Germany in various fields. Preference give to students with German language knowledge but no major experience living or studying in Germany.

Transitions Abroad: Links to several work abroad resources.

University of Michigan's Work Abroad Overview: Provides a comprehensive overview of student work abroad options.

US-China Education and Culture Exchange Offers summer, semester, and yearlong opportunities to teach English in China.

Working Abroad: Au pair, internship, and work/travel programs available in various countries.

Teach English Abroad

The links below are provided as a starting point for people interested in teaching abroad. We do not endorse any particular program and participants are responsible for carefully researching all aspects of any teach abroad opportunity.

Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship: U.S. Student Teaching Assistantships in English are offered in many countries worldwide. Each ETA Program is designed by the host country and individual elements may vary by country. Opportunities are available in over 20 countries, with most placements being in Germany or Korea. Campus deadline for all Fulbright applications is mid-September, about a month before the national deadline. Read this information sheet and contact Bob Baumann in International Studies and Programs as soon as you consider applying. The Fulbright supports English Teaching Assistantships in some countries.

Dave's ESL Cafe Job listings and advice for teaching abroad.

Centro de Voluntarios Teach English in Chile Program through the Chilean Ministry of Education.

CIEE Teach Abroad Semester or year long placements as a language and culture assistant teaching English in schools in Chile, China, Spain, and Thailand.

English Teaching Assistant in France: The French Ministry of Education is offering 1,500 teaching assistantship positions in French primary and secondary schools to American citizens under 30 years of age, graduates or undergraduates, majoring or minoring in French. Monthly stipend is provided.

Footprints Recruiting: Paid English teaching positions all over the world. Placements for people with no experience and for those with certification and/or experience.

Hess Educational Organization Teach English in Taiwan.

INTERAC: Organization that hires assistant English language teachers in Japan.

Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET): Opportunity to work in local Japanese government or teach English in Japan. Approximate deadline: November.

TeachAbroad: Postings for teach abroad opportunities. Positions may or may not require certification.

Teach Away: Offers a wide variety of international teaching jobs at Ministries of Education and private schools around the globe.

TEFL.com Learn more about TEFL, the job market, and search for teaching jobs.

Thailand TEFL Teaching opportunities in Thailand

Using your Study Abroad Experience on a Resume/Job Application

The text below  is adapted from allabroad.us and "Reentry Resource Packet," James L, Citron, Vija G. Mendelson

Keep this important information in mind: While employers clearly find study abroad students (you!) great candidates, what they are really look for are candidates who know how to market their experience. Remember, your employer may never have studied abroad nor had any significant international experience. While they know this is what the company needs, their personal knowledge of what, exactly, study abroad is and does may be lacking. In short, you need to be able to clearly and coherently sell the intercultural skills you learned while abroad.

While you may not be graduating for another year or planning immediately to look for a job, start thinking about how to articulate your experience now, while it is fresh in your memory. Likewise, if you are planning to study abroad or preparing to go abroad, take this information with you and track your progress as you go!

A successful job applicant will have a strong résumé, cover letter and interview skills. A well done cover letter and résumé will get you in the door, and then it is your job during the interview to secure the position! This section will help you to highlight your study abroad experience in all three phases of the job hunt. Don't forget to consult with UMSL Career Services (278 Millennium Student Center) and UMSL Study Abroad office – we have lots of experience and advice. Get in contact with us to see what job opportunities we know of.

Make sure to have a few stories about your time abroad for use during your interview. Study abroad stories tend to work especially well when you are asked questions about a time you faced a “difficult situation.” Choose a story that highlights your adaptability and willingness to overcome challenges, but does not present your host culture in a negative light or play off of stereotypes.

Skills

  • Understand cultural differences and similarities
  • Adapt to new environments
  • Learn through listening and observing
  • Establish rapport quickly
  • Function with a high level of ambiguity
  • Take initiative and calculated risks
  • Utilize time management skills
  • Identify problems and utilize available resources to solve the problem
  • Accept responsibility
  • Communicate despite barriers
  • Learn quickly
  • Handle difficult situations / handle stress
  • Manage/organize
  • Lead others in formal/informal groups
  • Conduct research despite language and cultural differences
  • Cope with rejection
  • Set and achieve personal goals

Qualities                                 

  • Self-reliance
  • High energy level/enthusiasm
  • Appreciation of diversity
  • Perseverance
  • Flexibility
  • Open-mindedness
  • Assertiveness
  • Inquisitiveness
  • Self-confidence
  • Self-knowledge
  • Independence
  • Adaptability
  • Patience

Additional Resources