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Ambassador Role - Being a Good Representative

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Regardless of how you personally identify yourself, it is important to understand that while you are abroad you are an ambassador representing both the United States and Clarkson University. 

Individuals from the host country may use you as an example of U.S. culture in general and Clarkson students in particular.  They may make judgments about U.S. social and professional etiquette. It is important to be respectful and act accordingly at all times. Your actions, both positive and negative, are likely to have long-term repercussions for Clarkson University and future participants.

Be a good student.  After all, first and foremost, the purpose of your time abroad is to study. Attend all classes, do your homework, and show respect to your professors.  Show a genuine interest in the host country.  Learn as much as you can about the country prior to departure, and continue to ask questions once you arrive.

Avoid expressing negative opinions or generalizations about the host country. Such statements usually serve only to reveal the ignorance of the speaker. If you are studying in a non-English speaking country, try to learn as much of the language as possible. If you are studying in an English-speaking country, be sensitive to differences in dialect. Remember that you are the guest in someone's home, school, and country. Be respectful and courteous!

Be well informed about the current events happening in the U.S., in New York, and even in your hometown. As you meet new acquaintances and make friends, you will be asked about a variety of issues related to U.S. culture, politics, history, geography, and social environments. Educating yourself about U.S policies and cultural news will enable you to speak eloquently about complex and sometimes controversial topics. This dialogue and exchange will inevitably enhance and enrich your experience and deepen your friendships.