The University of Leeds Intercultural Ambassadors Programme is a prestigious volunteering opportunity for current Leeds home and international undergraduates, taught postgraduates, postgraduate researchers, and exchange students who will be in Leeds for both semesters.
Intercultural Ambassadors programme: Your chance to inspire, connect and grow
The Intercultural Ambassadors volunteering programme offers you a global opportunity right here in Leeds. Our Intercultural Ambassadors play a key role in bringing the benefits of the University of Leeds Global Community to students and local people. By participating in the programme, you’ll get the chance to:
Inspire other students and members of our city community by running volunteering projects that aim to bring people together, provide an opportunity to learn from different cultural backgrounds and create memorable experiences for all participants.
Connect with students from a wide range of study levels and backgrounds. The programme’s structure mixes training sessions run by University professionals with fun socials, giving you the chance to get to know other participants outside of the classroom.
Grow and develop. The Intercultural Ambassadors programme offers opportunities for personal development and provides invaluable experiences that you can use when applying for jobs or future study.
How to apply
Applications for the 2023-24 programme are now closed. Register your interest for the programme!
Can I apply?
The programme is open to all current Leeds home and international undergraduates, taught postgraduates, postgraduate researchers, and exchange students who will be in Leeds for both semesters.
What will you gain from the programme?
The programme runs each year from November to early May. As part of the programme, you will:
- run one of ten projects to make a positive impact on students and/or people in the Leeds community
- develop cultural awareness, cross-cultural and employability skills
- gain valuable experience of multicultural teamwork
- Develop your project management skills, including working to a brief, project planning, working with stakeholders, budget and risk management, and impact evaluation
- make an impact on the University and wider Leeds community
- get to know some amazing people and have fun
As an Ambassador you’ll be able to have a direct impact on the experience of students at Leeds and on local people you work with. Being an Intercultural Ambassador can be a life-changing experience. You get out what you put in, so make the most of it!
During the programme, you will receive:
Project development with support from a staff mentor
You will receive support from a staff mentor who will help you and your team deliver your allocated project.
Some projects involve working with the local community outside campus, some projects involve running activity for students on campus, including activities that will be part of LUU’s World Unite Festival.
You can express a preference for the type of project you would like to work on. You may not get your preferred choice, depending on demand, but we’ll definitely offer you a great project giving you the opportunity to inspire, connect and grow!
Training sessions and socials events
You’ll receive training to help you deliver your project and develop your intercultural skills and you’ll have the chance to put what you have learned directly into practice while you’re on the programme..
Our training sessions will cover project management, teamwork, cultural awareness, event management and effective communication skills. There’ll also be socials that you can join after our sessions to connect with other ambassadors in an informal way. Please find a breakdown of our training sessions and social below.
You will also present your project as part of our Intercultural Ambassador showcase!
Networks and connections
The Intercultural Ambassadors programme will give you opportunities for personal development and provide invaluable experiences that you can use when applying for jobs or future study.
In addition to this, the programme aims to connect students from different study levels and help you build and maintain contacts with a network of people from a wide range of backgrounds.
Intercultural Ambassadors Showcase
The Intercultural Ambassadors Showcase is a high-profile event that celebrates ambassadors’ achievements, gives staff and local contacts a taste of what it’s like to take part in the programme, and shows why it’s valuable to ambassadors and to our campus and local communities. You will present your project as part of our Intercultural Ambassador showcase!
Intercultural Ambassadors’ projects
For a taste of the Intercultural Ambassador experience, browse previous projects and get a flavour for the programme:
In collaboration with the Reach for Excellence team, Ambassadors created an interactive workshop for 200 16-17 year old school students, raising awareness of the diverse environment on campus and offering advice on how to overcome fears and boundaries before and during their time at the University of Leeds.
Ambassadors created a workshop with guest speakers and participants from different backgrounds on the theme of breaking stereotypes. Topics included gender discrimination, refugee crisis, racism, LGBTQIA+ rights and ageism which aimed to support an intercultural dialogue on global concerns and tap into the diverse experience of our University community.
Screening of the world
In collaboration with Hyde Park Picture House, Ambassadors hosted a film screening and group discussion about the themes of overcoming language barriers and experiencing cultural difference in the Indian
film "English Vinglish”.
Intercultural Escape Room
As part of World Unite Festival, Ambassadors invited students to save the world from zombies in a zombie themed intercultural escape room. Watch the Intercultural Escape Room video time lapse
Intercultural experiences for older people
Ambassadors brought intercultural experiences to older people at Moor Allerton Elderly Care. Pot painting and planting cultural flower seeds, and music from around the world, gave plenty of opportunities to exchange stories and interact with each other.
- Watch the intercultural experiences for older people video project.
- Read more about Maryam’s experience of taking part in this project!
Something new for guides
In collaboration with Girlguiding, Ambassadors celebrated and delivered activities for a local Guide and Ranger unit on International Women's Day. Activities included Trinidadian mask-making, Chinese paper cutting, Polish egg-colouring and a puzzle creation station to help children and teenagers broaden their understand of different people, culture and #embracequity.
An evening bringing together students and local people, run in partnership with Rainbow Junktion Café. Ambassadors cooked up recipes from Asian countries using food that would otherwise have gone to waste, while keeping guests entertained with a quiz, live music and a K-pop performance, helping to raise over £600.
Happy to be here
On the UN's International Day of Happiness Ambassadors hosted a stall at Leeds University Union where students were invited to take a break and create cheerful, encouraging cards to spread happiness around campus.
Frequently asked questions
What are the aims of the programme?
- Help students and local people benefit from the global community of students at the University
- Enhance students’ global employability and intercultural competence
- Create meaningful interaction between people from different cultural backgrounds
- Increase the number, variety and uptake of intercultural opportunities on campus and locally
What projects are available? / How will I know which project I'll be working on?
- During one of the initial training sessions, we will ask you to give us your project preferences. You will rate each project from 1 – 10.
- We will decide who works on which project. We will consider what you have told us on your application, what your strengths and interests are, and how you work and interact with others.
- Based on this information, we will create ten groups which we think will work well together as a team and on the project.
What is the commitment? How much time will I spend on my project?
If your application is successful, you must attend all training sessions and commit at least 2 – 4 hours a week to work on your project. This could include independent work, group work, meeting with your project mentor and completing preparation tasks
What are we looking for in applicants?
- Committed to attending all training sessions, completing project preparation work, and giving a significant number of hours to developing, delivering and evaluating a project
- Open minded, with an interest in interacting with people from different backgrounds
- Interested in enriching other peoples’ understanding of the world and able to motivate others to engage in intercultural activity
- Able to work well in a team
- Able to communicate clearly and confidently with a range of audiences
- Able to listen effectively to others
- Pro-active and able to use own initiative
I’m disabled, can I join the programme?
Yes! As part of your application form you can tell us about any access requirements you’d like us to be aware of, including invisible disabilities. If you’d like to speak to a member of the project team about this before you apply please email email@example.com.
Questions about the programme?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.