The Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST) International Student Ambassador Program has been implemented by the Center for International Students and Scholars (CISS), established under the NAIST TGU Project plan, to offer peer advising services to international students who are experiencing difficulties in their daily academic and private lives and would like to discuss this with someone who may have had a similar experience. Essential to the program are the senior international students who volunteer and are registered as program "Ambassadors", acting as peer advisors that help students in need.
In early September, 10 international students responded to the call for program participants and volunteered to become NAIST Ambassadors. The NAIST International Student Ambassador Program training session was held on September 19th and 21st for the students in order to explain the program further, introduce ideas related to peer-counseling, and give the volunteers a chance to ask questions concerning the program and what will be expected of them.
Mr. Toru Sumita, Section Chief of the International Student Affairs Section, began the session with a brief introduction concerning NAIST's international student population and the recent trends in admissions. Following this, Mr. Robert King, the CISS Advisor, introduced the program details including the roles of the Ambassadors, the procedures to be followed for advising, etc., and then fielded students' questions. In this Q & A time, there were many detailed questions asked and the students were able to clearly understand what was expected of them and the limits of their roles. Dr. Hougaku of the NAIST Health Care Center, who cooperated in the establishment and implementation of this program, also attended.
At the end of the training session Vice President/Executive Director Kiyomi Kakiuchi, the Director of the Institute for Educational Initiatives, gave all the participants official Letters of Appointment.
With the implementation of this program, NAIST hopes to further support our international students so that they can make the most their experience, both academically and privately.