America's Unofficial Ambassadors

We work at the grassroots level throughout the Muslim World to counter violent extremism before it takes hold, to promote tolerance and understanding, and to foster better relations with the United States.

Earn Academic Credit for Studying Abroad with AUA.

America’s Unofficial Ambassadors offers college students the opportunity to earn academic credit while interning abroad through one of AUA’s Summer Service Internship programs.

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“This experience has been humbling from an athletic and teaching perspective, as well as a cultural and linguistic perspective. With every interaction, different religions and languages are being thrust upon each other at this soccer camp, and is in turn translated into peace, camaraderie, and knowledge through the world’s game.” –Joe Sgroi

Joe Sgroi, from Ewing, New Jersey, served as an unofficial ambassador at a summer camp in Morocco where he coached kids in basketball, soccer, and swimming, ran activities, and increased his proficiency in both French and Arabic. Joe is one of the unofficial ambassadors who received academic credit through The College of New Jersey for his service.

The course, IDS343, reflects the mission of AUA’s Summer Service Internship program as it is designed for students to gain professional experience and skills while working in a cross-cultural environment in the Muslim World. Each unofficial ambassador volunteers full-time at a non-governmental organization or school, studies the local language, and engages in cultural learning and exchange. IDS343 is an inherently interdisciplinary course. It utilizes history, cultural studies, international relations, development studies, and the practice of citizen diplomacy to provide students with the tools to understand the societies where they are working and the knowledge necessary to apply their skills to support locally led initiatives. They complete a diverse series of assignments as well as observe and participate in cultural traditions. To learn more about the specific requirements of the course, follow this link.

Britta Nippert and Okxana Cordova-Hoyos spent last summer serving as unofficial ambassadors at IRODA: Parents of Children with Autism Initiative in Tajikistan. They created a website for the organization, researched grant opportunities, ran activities, and played with the children at the center. Like Joe, Britta and Okxana participated in the course offered through The College of New Jersey and earned academic credit for their internship experiences.

The application deadline is February 16, 2015.


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