International Student Ambassador Program

INTERNATIONAL STUDENT AMBASSADORS 2018-2019

The International Student Ambassadors are here to be a resource for anyone in the UCLA community. They have all been at UCLA for at least one year, have been competitively selected, trained in cultural adjustment and sensitivity and completed a leadership training program.

They can answer questions about:
  • what it’s like to transition to UCLA, Los Angeles or the USA
  • what it’s like to live abroad in their home country
  • differences between their culture and American culture
  • academics and campus resources
  • panel discussions, focus groups, interviews, and media requests

We have Ambassadors from over 40 countries! For those countries where we do not have an Ambassador the contact information of the Ambassador who has offered to serve you will be listed.

To find out who your Ambassador is, please select your country:


Bahrain
Other Countries Represented: Qatar & United Arab Emirates
Name: Fares Al Ghareeb
Email: UCLA.Bahrain.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: Hamad Town
Major: Bachelors in Economics with a minor in Global Studies
Favorite Music Rap/ R&B and Khaleeji Arabic
Favorite Food Italian, Japanese and Middle-Eastern
Favorite Hobbies Horse riding, travelling, reading, water sports
About Me: I was born and raised in Bahrain, but lived in New Zealand for two years while I was younger, as my brother was in a program for autistic children. Graduated from high-school with an IB Diploma and was an avid member of our school's MUN club, organizing trips to St. Petersburg, Russia and Istanbul, Turkey.

Bangladesh
Name: Afrida Sara
Email: UCLA.Bangladesh.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: Dhaka
Major: Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology (MCDB)
Favorite Music Anything written by Ed Sheeran
Favorite Food A slice of red velvet cheesecake
Favorite Hobbies Hunting down new brunch places in Westwood
About Me: I’m your typical UCLA student. I take classes completely unrelated to my major for no other reason than curiosity, I pack my schedule to the tipping point with activities that make me tick, and I am heavily involved in service, student leadership, and research with UCLA’s leading investigators and faculty physicians. I made UCLA home away from home and found my place here. Believe me when I say you will too.
Advice: Come into UCLA with an open mind. If you have a major and career plan set in stone, that’s great! But never let the thought of what you want to do hold you back from experiencing new things here at UCLA.

Brazil
Other Countries Represented: French Guinea, Guyana, & Suriname
Name: Leonardo Feitosa Dantas
Email: UCLA.Brazil.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: Joinville
Major: Pre-International Development Studies and Political Science
Favorite Music Classic rock, indie
Favorite Food A good salad, lasagna, rice and beans
Favorite Hobbies Reading, Netflix, sports in general
About Me: I was born in Rio de Janeiro but I was raised in Joinville, a smaller town in the south where I had the opportunity to study in an international school and enjoy a more friendly, laid-back environment. I was deeply involved in school and academic life —founding the student government and constantly speaking in events— but at the same time I could never decline an invite to go out or chill with my friends and family. My entire goal here at UCLA is to acquire the knowledge about politics and international development (that I would otherwise lack back home) to actually go back and make my part in reshaping the vastly corrupted and decadent social, political, and educational structure of Brazil.
Advice: 1. Take things slowly: Even though you think you know American culture because of movies and shows, there is a lot to digest during your first couple months, so don’t commit to dozens of clubs, groups, and classes right away. You have plenty of time, so enjoy the most you can, slowly. 2. Don’t surrender to the temptation to only make Brazilian friends. It’s easy to get together with what you know, but one of the reasons you came here was to witness a different reality, language, and culture, so get out of your comfort zone and do exactly that! Brazilian will always be there for you. 3. Challenge, explore, and embrace yourself. College is all about discovering who you are and what you want to do with your life. Though no decision that may come out of this is binding, the entire experience proves how prone this environment and life moment is to such reflections. Make the most of it, do everything that comes to your mind!

Brunei Darussalam
Name: Nur “Hazirah” Ahmad
Email: UCLA.Brunei.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: BSB (Kampong Masin/Tutong)
Major: Undeclared social sciences, but leaning towards double majoring in Political Science and Economics or minor in Asian American studies
Favorite Music Soft EDM, top hits, throwback music from the late 90’s to 2000s, the occasional K-pop, Malay, and Arabic music.
Favorite Food Catch me with boba 24/7 or Nasi Katok (Brunei food made of rice, chicken, and some good sauce), but always down for everything to be honest.
Favorite Hobbies watching comedy TV Shows ( Brooklyn 99) and an unhealthy amount of K-dramas & K-variety, dance, basketball, and cooking
About Me: I’ve always failed at the 8-clap, but I love being a Bruin. Always down to get lost in LA, down for that midnight taco truck run, and a day trip anywhere. You’ll probably always see me cram 4 weeks of lecture the night before finals. On a serious note, though I did regret coming to UCLA for quite some time in the beginning, especially because I did not have a Bruneian community to fall back on, I actually really love being here now.
Advice: Because nobody knows where Brunei is you are already 10x more interesting! It might get tiring explaining where it is, but be proud to be Bruneian in UCLA and don’t be afraid to express our culture. Take advantage of the free weekends you have while in UCLA because unlike Brunei where there’s literally only The Mall or Times Square to go on the weekends, you have so many options here. Go on an adventure! Be involved in UCLA’s community, it’s the easiest way to get situated in LA.

Cambodia
Name: June Bo
Email: UCLA.Cambodia.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Major: Psychology
Favorite Music Acoustic covers
Favorite Food Dumplings
Favorite Hobbies Preview movies in-the-making
About Me: Hello everyone! Although I'm Cambodian, my birth name is Yihouy ("Ee-Hwae") since I am ethnically Chinese. I've been studying abroad since I was 12 - I spent 4 years in Singapore and then moved around in California until I finally ended up here in Westwood! So, like many of you, I am pretty much ethnically confused and no stranger to the incessant challenges of being an international student. However, I know this arduous life we chose are molding us to be extraordinarily resilient, cultured and competent individuals. So hang on there, it IS worth it!
Advice: Being so far away from home is not easy, but you don't have to do it alone. Reach out, find a support system that works for you and don't stop till you do! (2) Be kind to yourself! If you're feeling especially homesick, go get a steaming bowl of Kuy-Teav, listen to some Khmer music or bawl your eyes out to a buddy. It's OKAY to be honest about your struggles. (3) You NEVER have to feel like you don't belong here just 'cause you were born elsewhere. You fought hard to be here, you are so precious and marvelous - let your light shine, no matter where you are in the world!

Canada
Name: Robby Ngai
Email: UCLA.Canada.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: Toronto
Major: Undeclared social science, interested in Psychology and Communications
Favorite Music Pop punk, Pop rock, East Asian (Japanese/Korean/Chinese)
Favorite Food Sushi, Curry, Avocado smoothies
Favorite Hobbies Longboarding, Singing, Trying new food & Travelling
About Me: heya, people tell me that I'm pretty easy to talk to even if i might not look like it. :) I love trying new things - went surfing for the first time recently and was terrible, but loved it! I can speak Mandarin/Cantonese fluently and Japanese fairy well, although unfortunately my French skill has deteriorated significantly. I love playing "would you rather" so hit me up widdit!
Advice: As we're from such a close country you may not really experience much culture shock, luckily enough. However, in my opinion Canadian life can fee like living in a bubble, whether we realize it or not. Get involved in all the clubs and activities UCLA has to offer, and at the same time open up your mind to new perspectives, be it philosophical, political or spiritual.

China
Name: Ruiyao “Lacey” Sun
Email: UCLA.China.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: Henan, Zhengzhou
Major: Psychology
Favorite Music pop music and Film/TV/Game soundtracks
Favorite Food Korean BBQ, Hot Pot, Udon, other legit Asian food and medium-well Steak. Also my self-made tea latte.
Favorite Hobbies making playlists, Netflix and chill, photography (which I’m not so good at yet), reading science fictions and going to concerts
About Me: Growing up I loved watching American TV shows and listening to Taylor Swift, which is why I was so thrilled to be able to study in Los Angeles - aka the headquarter of entertainment industries. Coming to a foreign country alone was undoubtedly a somewhat challenging experience, but it is also a privilege to be able to be exposed to two vastly different cultures. My friends still sometimes correct me when I say the wrong words in English, and in turn, I would rectify their myths about China, for example, how Orange Chicken does not exist in our country.
Advice: To my fellow Chinese Bruins, do not be afraid to get involved! If you find something that interests you, go ahead and do it. Step out of your comfort zone and make friends with people from all over the world. UCLA is a place full of opportunities, you do not want to miss out!

China
Name: Zihe Tang
Email: UCLA.China.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: Beijing
Major: Applied Math & Political Science
Favorite Music Pop
Favorite Food Sweet purple potato
Favorite Hobbies Watching movies, Fitness, Reading
About Me: Hi, I'm Zihe, a third year in 2018 Fall with Applied Math & Political Science majors. I was born in Beijing and prepared to study abroad when I was in high school. I came to UCLA two years ago and had lots of meaningful experiences since then. I've worked in campus dining hall, participated in lots of interesting workshops or activities on campus and tried multiple classes in several academic fields. Personally, I feel there's a big difference between my hometown and LA, and thus it took me a while to adjust to the life here. I'd like to share all my experiences to other international bruins and hope it could help in some way.
Advice: Take your time and enjoy the life in UCLA! There’re so many things to do here, so just be relax and try them all. Remember to explore all the resources on campus and ask for help whenever you need.

Costa Rica
Name: Jorge Jimenez
Email: UCLA.CostaRica.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: San Jose
Major: Economics, possibly Neuroscience too
Favorite Music I like everything from music in Spanish like reggaeton to music in English like soft and alternative rock.
Favorite Food Sushi, salmon and bplate flatbread, as well as many other things.
Favorite Hobbies Playing soccer, going to the gym, watching movies and traveling.
About Me: In terms of academics, I am very interested in the fields of economics, neuroscience and psychology, as well as history, politics and geography. In particular, I am fascinated by the merging of neuroscience, psychology and economics to study the brain and the biological basis of human behavior and decision-making. Regarding other aspects of life, I like running and playing sports such as soccer, both of which I used to do in a more rigorous way. I also enjoy working out, climbing and playing racquetball, as well as exploring new places and visiting tourist locations.
Advice: Since my country Costa Rica is so small, the change to a setting like UCLA with tens of thousands of students and to a huge sprawling city like LA can be large and somewhat daunting. Thus, my advice is to be open and flexible to a new culture, as well as diverse people, ideas, social environments and class settings. Coming from a small place might make you slightly close-minded, but in a place like UCLA, you should try to embrace all the new great things that are to come. Concerning social life, the US and UCLA are very different than what one is usually used to in Costa Rica, so being able to adapt to new social events is very important.

Germany
Name: Alissa Lioznova
Email: UCLA.Germany.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: Wedel
Major: Economics
Favorite Music Reggaeton
Favorite Food Sushi
Favorite Hobbies Traveling
About Me: I consider myself a cosmopolitan citizen, as I am Russian, but I was born in Belgium, and I grew up in Germany. I consider Germany to be my home, and I moved to the United States for college, because I have always felt comfortable and welcomed here. Since then, I have been waking up with a smile on my face every day. I love to travel (in fact, I have visited 46 countries so far, with number 47 coming up this summer) and I speak six languages, because I love to connect to other people through their native language.
Advice: You don't have to have everything figured out on the first day, as it is a gradual process to build knowledge about the new culture and UCLA. Americans are more friendly and it is easier to engage in an informal conversation with them, however it is common that they do not take "let's get lunch sometime" seriously, so don't take it personally if it doesn't happen. Lastly, enjoy every moment here because it is a unique place with cultural diversity, world-renowned academics and the amazing weather is also a plus.

Ghana
Name: Or Fisher
Email: UCLA.Ghana.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: I am originally from Ness Ziona, Israel, but for the last 7 years I have lived in Accra, Ghana.
Major: Physiological Science
Favorite Music I like all types of music but prefer watching TV.
Favorite Food Sushi
Favorite Hobbies Traveling
About Me: Going to different restaurants and shopping with friends and family. I am really into school spirit and go to most of the events, especially football, basketball, volleyball, and gymnastics.
Advice: Pieces of advice I would give to students coming in from Israel or Ghana are to pack light because you will have to deal with packing and finding summer storage for all your things. It is always beneficial to learn how the American weather (Fahrenheit) and distance/size (miles/ounces), etc work because people will often ask you questions and they will not understand when you answer in Celsius or Kilometers/Kilograms. Last advice is to always book the flights as early as you can going back home after finals week because it costs extra to stay longer.

Greece
Name: Farah Nuqul
Email: UCLA.Greece.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: Amman / Athens
Major: Bachelors in Political Science
Favorite Music I enjoy most types of music. I think I listen to main stream music the most.
Favorite Food That’s the hardest one. I love food SO MUCH. But some of my favourite cuisines are the Mediterranean cuisine and the Italian cuisine.
Favorite Hobbies I love to sing, watch shows and read.
About Me: Hi! My name is Farah Nuqul, and I’m half Jordanian-half Greek. I was born and raised in Jordan, but I visit Greece a lot, and there’s no doubt that I consider it to be home. On another note, I’m obsessed with everything fashion, and I love to travel. Also, I love trying different kinds of food and cuisines. I’m in love with LA and I’m so grateful to be attending school here. I honestly have learned so much in my time here and I have grown greatly as an individual. Being so far away from home really teaches you a lot, but it can also be intimidating and at times overwhelming. For any of you who feel homesick or wants to talk to someone who understands, please feel free to contact me. I’m here to help in any way that I possibly can. Even if you just want to talk about a TV show or anything else, I got you.

Hong Kong
Name: Peggy Wong
Email: UCLA.HongKong.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: Hong Kong
Major: Communications
Favorite Music Pop and jazz
Favorite Food Mediterranean
Favorite Hobbies Yoga
About Me: My name is Peggy and I am a senior transfer here at UCLA. My major is Communications and I am minoring in Linguistics as well. Please don’t be afraid to ask me questions! I’ll do my best to answer them or direct you to resources you might need.
Advice: 1. It’s okay and completely normal to feel overwhelmed in this campus, try narrowing down your campus involvement to the ones that you’re really interested in! 2. Go to professors’ office hours 3. Eat at one of the dining halls on the hill AT LEAST ONCE

India
Name: Saagarika Verma
Email: UCLA.India.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: I’m from Madhya Pradesh, India but I’ve lived all over and attended high school in Dubai, UAE.
Major: Double majoring in Economics and Linguistics & Computer Science
Favorite Music I love listening to Eminem, Halsey, and Charlie Puth, but I’m down for exploring more music genres.
Favorite Food I love the Indian cuisine mostly because I haven't had it in so long!
Favorite Hobbies You can usually find me reading books, writing poetry, or trying to get myself to go to the gym
Advice: I feel that coming to UCLA from a different country is hard enough, but on top of that, the different curriculum makes the transition even harder. I think that it’s comforting to know that others go through this too and continue to go through this. Yes, UCLA is pretty overwhelming, but don’t worry, if you keep an open mind, we can get through this together. Go Bruins!

Indonesia
Name: Sahil Sibal
Email: UCLA.Indonesia.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: Medan
Major: Bachelor's in Civil Engineering
Favorite Music Pop and instrumental
Favorite Food Kbbq
Favorite Hobbies Watching movies and all things soccer
About Me: Hi! My name is Sahil Sibal and I'm from the not so tiny town Medan! I love traveling, exploring new places, and especially trying out different cuisines. I am known for being very approachable and I love interacting with students from different backgrounds. I struggled in adapting to the new lifestyle early on in my college life, but I'm glad that now I found my place here. But for everyone who still is, don't give up as it is only a matter of time! I hope that I can help other students transition better and make them feel more at home, so feel free to contact me!
Advice: Try out all of the many clubs UCLA has to offer. If you see a club that of the slightest bit interest you, don't hesitate and try it out! Take risks and step outside of your comfort zone, but remember that there's no rush! Take your time.

Israel
Name: Or Fisher
Email: UCLA.Ghana.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: I am originally from Ness Ziona, Israel, but for the last 7 years I have lived in Accra, Ghana.
Major: Physiological Science
Favorite Music I like all types of music but prefer watching TV.
Favorite Food Sushi
Favorite Hobbies Traveling
About Me: Going to different restaurants and shopping with friends and family. I am really into school spirit and go to most of the events, especially football, basketball, volleyball, and gymnastics.
Advice: Pieces of advice I would give to students coming in from Israel or Ghana are to pack light because you will have to deal with packing and finding summer storage for all your things. It is always beneficial to learn how the American weather (Fahrenheit) and distance/size (miles/ounces), etc work because people will often ask you questions and they will not understand when you answer in Celsius or Kilometers/Kilograms. Last advice is to always book the flights as early as you can going back home after finals week because it costs extra to stay longer.

Italy
Other Countries Represented: Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, & Slovenia
Name: Anqi "Angie" Chen
Email: UCLA.Italy.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: I was born in China, but I moved to Modena in Italy with my family when I was 12.
Major: Piano Performance and Business Economics
Favorite Music My favorite music is classical music, but recently I discovered my interest for electronic music as well.
Favorite Food I really like all the Asian food and Italian food.
Favorite Hobbies I love trying different food places in LA and take trips with friends
About Me: As an international student with multicultural background, I totally understand how hard it is to assimilate to a new culture, adapt to a new environment, and be part of a new community. Sometimes you can feel homesick and feel powerless in a country where people don’t speak your native language. I went through all this everytime when I moved to a new country and as an international student ambassador I will help other international students to feel welcomed in this country and that their voice would be heard.
Advice: Don’t be shy! American students love the Italian culture and food and there are very few students from Italy in the entire school so you’ll be special! I would suggest to put some effort into your social life in the first few weeks. It’ll help you adapt to the new environment faster! Try to find people to eat with you. Knock on doors and chat with neighbors. It’s a great way to practice your English if English is not your first language! Also I would suggest not to take too many heavy classes during your first quarter at UCLA. It takes time to transition from high school to college, especially if you come from another country. I don’t want you to get overwhelmed and stressed. Take time figuring out the resources on campus and make new friends!

Jamaica
Name: Peter Worton
Email: UCLA.Jamaica.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: Kingston
Major: Mechanical Engineering '21
Favorite Music Dancehall or hip-hop
Favorite Food KFC
Favorite Hobbies Football and riding
About Me: I visited California when I was young and loved it; still do. I came here for opportunity and I see my potential growing. I am very outgoing and active so I tend to keep myself very busy.
Advice: UCLA is a very competitive school so the most important thing is to maintain a balance in your life. Build relationships, work hard, create yourself.

Jordan
Name: Farah Nuqul
Email: UCLA.Jordan.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: Amman / Athens
Major: Bachelors in Political Science
Favorite Music I enjoy most types of music. I think I listen to main stream music the most.
Favorite Food That’s the hardest one. I love food SO MUCH. But some of my favourite cuisines are the Mediterranean cuisine and the Italian cuisine.
Favorite Hobbies I love to sing, watch shows and read.
About Me: Hi! My name is Farah Nuqul, and I’m half Jordanian-half Greek. I was born and raised in Jordan, but I visit Greece a lot, and there’s no doubt that I consider it to be home. At the moment, I’m Pre-Economics, but I’m most likely going to shift to Political Science and Communications. This is a huge change for me, which hopefully is for the best. On another note, I’m obsessed with everything fashion, and I love to travel. Also, I love trying different kinds of food and cuisines. I’m in love with LA and I’m so grateful to be attending school here. I honestly have learned so much in my time here and I have grown greatly as an individual. Being so far away from home really teaches you a lot, but it can also be intimidating and at times overwhelming. For any of you who feel homesick or wants to talk to someone who understands, please feel free to contact me. I’m here to help in any way that I possibly can. Even if you just want to talk about a TV show or anything else, I got you.

Malaysia
Name: Andrea Ng
Email: UCLA.Malaysia.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: Kuala Lumpur
Major: Psychology; Minor: Asian American Studies
Favorite Music Musicals & Pop Music
Favorite Food Food from home (Tosai, Char Kuey Teow, etc.), Italian and Japanese food
Favorite Hobbies Watch Netflix, and does hanging out with friends and eating count?
About Me: Hello! I'm Andrea and I moved to the US about three and a half years ago. Before coming to UCLA, I went to a community college in LA and I remember being really really scared because I was leaving my family and I would be so far away from good Malaysian food! I'm a Psychology major and ultimately, I want to get a PhD. Currently, I am involved in research programs, some social programs, as well as the women's ultimate frisbee team! I love food and meeting new people so let me know if you ever want to chat and we can go eat good food somewhere! :D
Advice: First of all, join the Malaysian Student Association Facebook page! Everyone is super friendly and we go out to eat at Malaysian-style restaurants. What else do you need aside from food and friends? I would also encourage you to join organizations based off of your interest, instead of just the Malaysian Student Association. Next, apply for programs! There are so many programs here on campus that encourage socializing (Ex: Global Siblings) and it's a really fun way to meet people. Try to use your first year here to ease into the college. I know you probably want to start getting internships and 4.0s but try your best to take a deep breath and take things slow, at least at first.

Mexico
Other Countries Represented: Belize, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Caribbean Islands, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, & Trinidad and Tobago
Name: Andrea González Herrera
Email: UCLA.Mexico.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: Guadalajara, Jalisco
Major: Cognitive Science Major minoring in Comparative Literature
Favorite Music My favorite type of music is reggaeton.
Favorite Food My favorite food is always a tough choice between sushi and Italian food.
Favorite Hobbies I like to explore new things and visit places around LA.
About Me: Hello! My name is Andrea González Herrera. I am a Cognitive Science Major minoring in Comparative Literature, my goal is to eventually go to graduate school and become a Clinical Psychologist. I was born and raised in Guadalajara, Jalisco, México. I love my country and Mexican culture. My hobbies are painting, drawing, reading, listening to music, hanging out with my friends, watching Netflix, dancing and I adore learning new languages! My favorite type of music is reggaeton. My favorite food is always a tough choice between sushi and Italian food. I am very academically orientated, and I love learning. I like to explore new things and visit places around LA. I am a very upbeat person, I get excited very easily and I'm excited to meet you! At the same time, I also get nervous/scared quite easily and I was so nervous to move out of home and come to a big school, but also very excited. I learned how to balance these two emotions and use this excitement to get over my fear. I think the best thing to do if you are nervous of leaving your country is to just try to relax, be open-minded and try to find the bright side in any situation! Trust that UCLA is the place for you and that you will have fun and learn so much!

Mongolia
Name: Anudari“Anu” Chinzorig
Email: UCLA.Mongolia.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: Ulaanbaatar
Major: Economics/ Pre-med
Favorite Music EDM- ZHU, Galantis, Indie- Florence and the Machines, Tame Impala
Favorite Food Indian and Mexican food
Favorite Hobbies Going places, trying out new things, challenging myself, meeting new people and getting inspiration.
About Me: Hey, I’m Anu, a girl born and raised in the coldest capital of the world, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. I have lived in Japan for two years during middle school, so I can speak with you in Japanese and some Russian as well. Feel welcome to say hi! I love going to the beaches and doing homework or just basking in the sun. Just love doing all the LA things! I have chosen to pursue a career in medicine while majoring in economics, which I am quite passionate about as well.
Advice: 1. Life happens outside of your comfort zone! 2. Though you may not be used to expressing your opinions or where you stand on certain issues loudly and confidently due to the culture norms, here, don’t be afraid to do so or even encouraged. But don’t forget to stay open-minded and respectful of others’. 3. In college and life, it’s all about finding the balance. And to find balance, time-management comes in handy. So you will inevitably have to master the art of time management.

Nigeria
Name: Chirag Thadani
Email: UCLA.Nigeria.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: Port Harcourt
Major: Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics
Favorite Music Pop & Bollywood music
Favorite Food All kinds of Biryanis, Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines
Favorite Hobbies Traveling, watching movies, cooking, playing squash
About Me: I was born in Nigeria and raised partly in Nigeria, India and Singapore. The first time I ever came to the US was 2 days before UCLA orientation. I have changed schools and cities so many times in life that I cannot associate one particular place with my home. As a result, I very well understand the difficulties that come across when moving to a completely new place and trying to adjust to a whole new life (to the point that now I kinda enjoy it!). Moving into my third year here at UCLA, I am currently working in a Neurobiology Lab where we do some cool research and volunteer at the Ronald Reagan Hospital during weekends. I love meeting people and experiencing different cultures.
Advice: I would suggest coming here with an open mind and considering this as an opportunity to start with a clean slate. You have made the right choice by choosing UCLA and your life now onwards would pretty much be whatever you want to make out of it. There is something for everyone here at UCLA. Just be prepared to be challenged but make sure to have fun along the way!

Pakistan
Other Countries Represented: Afghanistan
Name: Shezereh Hussain
Email: UCLA.Pakistan.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: I have lived all my life in Lahore, Pakistan.
Major: Economics with potential minors in theater and digital humanities.
Favorite Music I am still stuck in the throwback phase of music particularly the Beatles and Queen but in general I like the good old pop music.
Favorite Food I love Italian and Mediterranean food in general.
Favorite Hobbies Outside school I love exploring restaurants and using my food photography for my food blog on Instagram. I love dancing and acting as well.
About Me: I am generally a very spontaneous and adventurous person, always out there to try something new and accept challenges. I believe in being studious and hardworking when it comes to school and responsibilities but I also see myself as loving life to the fullest and not missing any opportunity to explore as much. Just being in the US for the past 3 years, I have formed some of the best memories but I still think I am not done yet. Still got a lot of restaurants, events, concerts and areas to explore. Of course I love doing all this with as many people around so come join me in all my adventures, I love people and making friends in general!
Advice: Coming from Pakistan can definitely be a daunting challenge. Big city, big school and being so independent looks very scary indeed. What I learnt from my time here was to adapt to the life without changing who I was. Keep your personality the way it has been all your life in Pakistan. You do not need to be "American" to fit among everyone.

Panama
Name: Nitya Mehta
Email: UCLA.Panama.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: Colon
Major: Global Studies with a minor in Environmental Systems and Society
Favorite Music Choosing my favorite music is an impossible task
Favorite Food Favorite food would probably have to be home-cooked food, Italian, and Mediterranean
Favorite Hobbies My favorite hobbies are singing, playing the guitar and piano, and watching Netflix.
About Me: Please include anything else you want to say about yourself that you think would be helpful.): Hello! My name is Nitya Mehta, and I am so honored to be serving as an international ambassador representing my country: Panamá. I am currently a sophomore at UCLA studying Global Studies because of my interest in international relations and diplomacy. A fun fact about me is that I was actually on James Corden. I got to play one of the games that he plays with the audience; talk about that LA life people. You should definitely take advantage of living in this not amazing city. I am also obsessed with Harry Potter, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Shawn Mendes, The Script, F.R.I.E.N.D.S, and food in general. So if you want to fangirl with me about any of these, I am definitely your person.
Advice: First of all, I know how scary college can be, especially as an international student: you are leaving your home country and your friends behind, and it’s really intimidating to be honest. I’d say that even though fear is a part of that process, know that it shouldn’t stop you from seeking opportunities and help if needed. The university has a lot of helpful resources for those willing to look for them. There is also so much to do on campus apart from academics, so you can always pursue your hobbies and meet new people! Secondly, sometimes I know you will feel like you are drowning in a sea of national students, and will feel like you don’t belong. It is very important to embrace your diversity: it is what makes you unique. And you will always have Dashew to help you out when you feel that way! We have different events happening year-round that you can attend to meet some international students, and share your stories. Lastly, never leave your I-20 behind! Seriously, I did it once and I had to ask for a new one to be delivered to me back home; it was a hassle you likely do not wanna go through.

Singapore
Name: Chirag Thadani
Email: UCLA.Singapore.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: Port Harcourt, Nigeria/ Jaipur, India/ Singapore
Major: Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics
Favorite Music Pop & Bollywood music
Favorite Food All kinds of Biryanis, Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines
Favorite Hobbies Traveling, watching movies, cooking, playing squash
About Me: I was born in Nigeria and raised partly in Nigeria, India and Singapore. The first time I ever came to the US was 2 days before UCLA orientation. I have changed schools and cities so many times in life that I cannot associate one particular place with my home. As a result, I very well understand the difficulties that come across when moving to a completely new place and trying to adjust to a whole new life (to the point that now I kinda enjoy it!). Moving into my third year here at UCLA, I am currently working in a Neurobiology Lab where we do some cool research and volunteer at the Ronald Reagan Hospital during weekends. I love meeting people and experiencing different cultures.
Advice: I would suggest coming here with an open mind and considering this as an opportunity to start with a clean slate. You have made the right choice by choosing UCLA and your life now onwards would pretty much be whatever you want to make out of it. There is something for everyone here at UCLA. Just be prepared to be challenged but make sure to have fun along the way!

South Africa
Other Countries Represented: Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, & Zimbabwe
Name: Luke Mostert
Email: UCLA.SouthAfrica.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: Cape Town
Major: Political Science, with a minor in Accounting
Favorite Music EDM, Pop
Favorite Food Japanese or Italian
Favorite Hobbies Tennis or anything outdoors!
About Me: Hi guys! My name is Luke, and I’m a senior Political Science and Accounting Student. I was born and raised in South Africa, having lived there all my life until coming to UCLA for college. My passions include entrepreneurship and non-profit work, while I also love playing and watching Tennis. As a student ambassador, I hope not only to advocate for more opportunities for international students, but also to ensure incoming students have as smooth and successful a transition as possible. My best advice for incoming students would be to seek mentorship from fellow students in the areas you are interested in, as UCLA is a big place and thus without guidance, it is easy to get lost and miss out. For any students that may have concerns or questions about their UCLA experience, please feel free to contact me or come by my office hours. I look forward to meeting you!

South Korea
Name: Jaegeon “Luke” Shin
Email: UCLA.SouthKorea.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: Seoul
Major: Mathematics
Favorite Music K-pop and musicals
Favorite Food I can eat literally anything, but I like Korean and Thai food.
Favorite Hobbies I like watching soccer, play games, and sleeping.
About Me: Hello, I am a second year math student from South Korea. Although I spent most of my life in South Korea, I also lived in the Philippines and the United States for a bit before coming to UCLA. Feel free to ask me any questions you have about UCLA or just life in general!
Advice: Try a lot of different things when you can, don't be afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone!

Sri Lanka
Other Countries Represented: Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, & Tibet
Name: Grace Pieris
Email: UCLA.SriLanka.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: Colombo
Major: International Development Studies, Minor: Education Studies
Favorite Music Hip-hop/ Pop, mostly Clean Bandit, The Chainsmokers, Rita Ora, Sigala… to name a few
Favorite Food At the moment, craving home food…
Favorite Hobbies Running
About Me: Hey Bruins! I’m Grace, from Sri Lanka. I came to UCLA two years ago as a freshman, after a 30-hour flight, with two large suitcases and my parents halfway across the world, scared and excited for college. Even though I left my home for college, I found a home within my college. I meet colleagues who are, like me, passionate about development and social justice issues. I have met students from all walks of life, from China to the Ivory Coast, and learned from their experiences. I found my niche in the Bruinrunners club, whilst running through the scenic landscapes around LA and playing Vampire Tag in the Sculpture Gardens. UCLA is… amazing. You will love it. You will feel at home. <3
Advice: Be organized! The quarter system goes really fast so you really need to be on top of your work! Get involved! There is so much to do here! Hike to the Hollywood sign, get food at First Fridays, Watch Hooligan theatre shows on campus, join a club of your interest! UCLA is your oyster! Missing home? Try Ape Kade food at Pasadena :)

Switzerland
Name: Vincent Chenneveau
Email: UCLA.Switzerland.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: Geneva
Major: Economics
Favorite Music Everything except metal
Favorite Food Vietnamese Pho
Favorite Hobbies Drone Racing
About Me: That I can remember I've lived in San Diego, California, Seoul, South Korea, and Geneva Switzerland before coming here for University. I've travelled extensively throughout Europe, South East Asia and other parts of the World. As a student of international schools I've been exposed to a large variety of different cultures and I'm always happy to meet new people. I play lots of video games and love to keep up with current affairs. Feel free to contact me about everything and anything Switzerland related!
Advice: Don't forget your enrollment passes in the early summer especially if you go home! Whole foods has quite a nice selection of cheese even if it can't compare to Switzerland it's nice from time to time. Make sure to keep in touch with or make friends that speak your language (German/French/Italian) you'll find you miss it a lot more than you might think

Taiwan
Name: Ellen Chang
Email: UCLA.Taiwan.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: Taipei
Major: Economics
Favorite Music My favorite types of music is a mixture of Pop and R&B.
Favorite Food I am a huge foodie and would love to try as many types of cuisine as possible. However, if I have to choose, Japanese food would probably be my favorite.
Favorite Hobbies I love to stay active and some of my hobbies including exercising, photography, and going to the beach to tan.
About Me: I was born in London but moved to Taiwan when I was at the age of 2. I grew up in Taipei but I also spent four years living in Shanghai before moving back to Taipei for High School. Prior to college, I've only been to the US three times and has never lived here before, but it has been a great experience so far.
Advice: Moving to another country all by yourself sounds terrifying at first, but when you actually arrive here, you realize so many people are going through the same exact thing. People bond over the fact that they miss home and because I kept myself really busy my freshmen year, I actually barely missed home. So the first advice is to keep yourself busy, stay involved, and meet as many people as possible when you get here. Another advice that I would give is to be openminded, sometimes there are things here that you don't like or like a lot, try to find a balance in the likes and dislikes.

Thailand
Name: Lokachet “Time” Tanasugarn
Email: UCLA.Thailand.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: Bangkok
Major: Masters in Epidemiology
Favorite Music Pop, Jazz, Classical music
Favorite Food Thai food especially stirred fried chicken with cashew nuts
Favorite Hobbies Hello! My name is Lokachet Tanasugarn. You can call me "Time" as well which is my nick name. I grew up in Bangkok and just started my graduate study in Epidemiology at UCLA for about a year. During my undergrads, I was lucky enough to be able to travel to a number of countries and also visited a lot of places in Thailand apart from Bangkok. So, I value the experience of being an international student and glade to be of help to other internal students through this international ambassador program.
About Me: Enjoy the new environment: it could be challenging at first but you will learn a lot! Make new friends: UCLA students are from all over the World! Challenge yourself: a lot of opportunities await you and you will never know what you can actually do until you try them out!

Turkey
Other Countries Represented: Cyprus
Name: Eda Gokcebay
Email: UCLA.Turkey.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: Istanbul
Major: Business Economics
Favorite Music R&B
Favorite Food Sushi
Favorite Hobbies Photography
About Me: I am from Istanbul, Kadikoy. I went to Koç School and did the IB programme. I love skiing and hiking. I have two yorkshire terriers (Puffy and Lilly) and I love dogs (I even made a photo gallery about the dogs of UCLA for the Daily Bruin). I love exploring new places.
Advice: We have a Turkish Student Association at UCLA. The club organises fun activities like Hollywood hikes, Turkish Breakfasts, Turkish movie nights and Turkish culture night. You can email uclaturks@gmail.com to get on the email list about events. You can also follow the organisation on Facebook with the user name 'Turkish Student Association at UCLA' and on Instagram with the user name 'TurkishBruins'.

UAE
Name: Saagarika Verma
Email: UCLA.India.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: I’m from Madhya Pradesh, India but I’ve lived all over and attended high school in Dubai, UAE.
Major: Double majoring in Economics and Linguistics & Computer Science
Favorite Music I love listening to Eminem, Halsey, and Charlie Puth, but I’m down for exploring more music genres.
Favorite Food I love the Indian cuisine mostly because I haven't had it in so long!
Favorite Hobbies You can usually find me reading books, writing poetry, or trying to get myself to go to the gym
About Me: I feel that coming to UCLA from a different country is hard enough, but on top of that, the different curriculum makes the transition even harder. I think that it’s comforting to know that others go through this too and continue to go through this. Yes, UCLA is pretty overwhelming, but don’t worry, if you keep an open mind, we can get through this together. Go Bruins!

Venezuela
Name: Isabella Gago
Email: UCLA.Venezuela.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: Valencia
Major: Political Science and Geography/Environmental Studies
Favorite Music Recently I’ve discovered my favorite music is the kind that takes me back to Sunday BBQs at home, so any classic Spanish hits.
Favorite Food My favorite food is french fries.
Favorite Hobbies In my free time, I like to write, watch movies or just walk around campus.
About Me: I was born and raised in my hometown of Valencia, so the first time I moved was when I came to UCLA. Growing up I loved playing sports, I played soccer, softball, volleyball, basketball and golf. I enjoy meeting new people and learning about other cultures as well as teaching others about mine.
Advice: I recommend speaking in English as often as you can, even if it is awkward or tiring at first. Don’t be afraid of putting yourself out there, college is all about trying new things, and you got to move to a new country to do that too! Also, stay in contact with your family and your roots, but don’t let that prevent you from experiencing this new home.

Vietnam
Name: Ken Nguyen
Email: UCLA.Vietnam.Ambassador@gmail.com
Hometown: Ho Chi Minh City
Major: Microbiology, Immunology, & Molecular Genetics
Favorite Music I love to listen to Sam Smith. and my hobby is playing ukulele while badly singing his songs.
Favorite Food My favourite food is anything Asian but I really enjoy eating dumplings.
Favorite Hobbies And my hobby is playing ukulele while badly singing Sam Smith songs.
About Me: I am from Vietnam and travelled to LA to study. My mom and sister also came here with me and currently residing in Long Beach. As a life science major, I hope to be involved in research in the future. I'm a little bit of an introvert but easily open up when people approach and start talking to me!
Advice: It may seem intimidating at first but people in the UCLA community are very kind and willing to help you so don't be afraid to ask. Also, bring dried food from home because you will miss it and nothing here can compare to it.


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