Legacy International seeks U.S. undergraduate and graduate student leaders to serve as Cultural Ambassadors in the Saudi Young Leaders Exchange Program (SYLEP).
Cultural Ambassadors serve as peer mentors and friends to the Saudi participants, engaging in a variety of professional and leisure activities. To learn more about the position requirements, program dates and application instructions read below:
2021 Dates for U.S. Cultural Ambassadors
July 11 – August 1
Orientation Begins: July 12
4 Cultural Ambassador openings
August 8 – August 29
Orientation Begins: August 9
5 Cultural Ambassador openings
** Please note while we have a strong preference for candidates who can serve as Cultural Ambassador for both cohorts, we will also be accepting applications from those who can only serve one cohort. Please indicate your availability in your application.
What are the responsibilities of a SYLEP Cultural Ambassador?
- Guide the Saudi students’ understanding of community engagement and volunteerism in the U.S. through informal conversations and during post event debriefs.
- Serve as host for up to 10 Saudi university/graduate students during the program. 1) Accompany the group during events (meetings, trainings and service projects); 2) Develop and lead some evening social activities; and 3) Assist Legacy’s SYLEP staff with program support tasks.
- Support Legacy’s Trainer Facilitator in the facilitation of ice breakers, networking events, dialogues and discussions.
- Support Legacy’s staff team to implement SYLEP’s social media strategy (gathering stories, writing copy or blog posts, photographs, etc.).
- Serve as an adviser to the Saudis participants as they develop community action plans during a three-day Hackathon.
- Support Legacy staff in daily health checks (i.e. temperature checks, etc.).
Cultural Ambassador Requirements
- Currently enrolled in a U.S. college or university – rising senior undergraduates or graduate students. Recent graduates are also considered.
- A citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. (Students from outside the U.S. currently studying in the U.S. are not eligible).
- Committed to leadership and community engagement, and an active participant in a university or local service organization, club or project OR active leadership roles.
- Available for at least one full cohort cycle. The program requires full time engagement and includes some U.S. travel; full weekdays and weekends.
- Interested in and receptive to Middle Eastern cultures.
- It is preferable for the Cultural Ambassadors to reside or study in one of the host communities that are part of the program: Austin, TX, Chicago, IL, Pittsburgh, PA, Detroit, MI, Cincinnati, OH or Washington, DC
What Will Cultural Ambassadors Gain?
- Enhance one’s insights into Middle Eastern culture;
- Engage with emerging leaders from a different culture, while sharing approaches to common problems and gaining insights into new ways to approach one’s own efforts in the U.S.;
- Gain insights into one’s own leadership style;
- Develop as a leader with cross-cultural competency;
- Develop skills in group management, managing group dynamics and training;
- Gain new perspectives and ideas one may draw upon in their own community engagement efforts.
What Expenses Will Be Covered?
The following expenses will be covered by Legacy International:
- Hotel, meals and transportation during the program (including the week between programs).
- Program costs directly related to activities organized by Legacy (for example, a group sightseeing tour in DC).
- At the end of each cohort a modest stipend of $750 will be provided — Therefore, any Cultural Ambassadors participating in both sessions may earn total compensation up to $1,500. (This is in addition to meals, housing and transportation expenses being covered.)
- Transportation to orientation and your return trip following the program will be reimbursed.
Legacy International has a 40+ year track record providing safe and enriching programming. During this global pandemic, our Health & Safety Team continuously monitors the global and local health advisories. In 2021, we are adjusting how in-person exchange programs are delivered so the preventative measures to mitigate the spread of communicable diseases is at the forefront. The safety of our staff, exchange visitors, program partners and their families is our priority. All participants will benefit from rigorous testing and other program modifications as we implement these plans and once again enjoy rewarding cultural immersions.
Cultural Ambassadors Impressions
- 2019, Amy Do, Nikki Hinshaw, & Benji Fitten – Cultural Ambassador Reflections
- 2018, Camille Mason & Haley Entrop – Reflections on the Saudi Young Leaders Exchange Program
- 2017, Gabrielle Oliver – “Exchange is Closer to Home than You Might Think”
- 2017, Harris Samad – “SYLEP 2017 Reflection”
- 2016, Kiana Graves – “Entrepreneurship and Go-Karts: Linking U.S and Saudi Culture”
- 2014, Abby Richardson – “U.S. Student Cultural Ambassador Shares with Saudi Youth“
Interested in Applying?
Please send 1) resume, 2) cover letter; 3) one letter of support from a faculty adviser or other mentor who is familiar with your leadership activities. Please be sure your cover letter indicates your available dates: 1) both cohorts (preferred*); 2) July cohort only, OR 3) August cohort only.
SYLEP is initiated and supported by the Embassy of the United States in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.