International applicants may be in particular need of guidance when applying to colleges in the United States.

That’s why we’re glad Penn students have created a new program that will help fill holes in outreach and provide international students with more assistance with the admissions process. The Student Ambassador Program — created by the Assembly of International Students — will train students to give presentations to high schools in their home countries and prepare question and answer sessions.

Although Penn’s Admissions Office visits students in more than 30 countries each year, the University can’t reach everyone. Admissions representatives primarily visit international schools rather than local schools, and they don’t travel to every country where students are interested in applying to Penn. A program where Penn is marketed to high-school students at non-international schools abroad will increase outreach to a wider population.

The Student Ambassador Program will also benefit potential international applicants because high schoolers will receive advice from their peers. International students who have been through the application process know from personal experience how to overcome the obstacles these prospective students face. When applicants ask the student ambassadors questions, they’ll receive answers from people who have survived the process and will learn how they can survive it too.

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