Read our Q&A with Michele Kessler, Returnee Ambassador Program Coordinator with EF High School Exchange Year.
Everyone talks about the Ambassador program! Can you tell us more about it, and about your role?
This role is very special as there is not many comparable jobs out there.
In essence, I make sure our Ambassadors who have returned from their exchange years stay engaged with EF and continue to share their experiences with future exchange students. Additionally, I provide them with trainings to help them be successful.
What do you like most about working at EF High School Exchange Year?
There’s many things I could list here but will narrow it down to two: the people and the opportunities. Due to my role I am privileged enough to travel a lot and work with colleagues from all over, giving me insight into many different ways of working. In addition, I get to work in an environment that is fun to be in.
Can you tell us more about the qualities you seek for exchange students to become EF Ambassadors?
I don’t want to give away too much, but honestly there’s no “secret” recipe for the sauce—everybody brings something new to the table. All jokes aside, our Ambassadors are honest about their experiences, they’re passionate about sharing them and real when they need to be. The Ambassador Program is an opportunity for students to come together, share their experiences with other exchange students all across the world and explore their natural strengths as leaders.
You provide Ambassador trainings. What are the trainings like and how do you deliver them?
Due to our vast global network, I usually provide trainings online so everyone can watch them at their convenience. Those trainings can be of professional or personal value, which means that I do trainings on how to share your story or presentation skills, but also what it means to experience reverse culture shock and overcome it.
We have also heard about your involvement at EF Camp. How do you welcome students during the welcome speech?
Our welcoming consists of cheering each country on in the “Parade of Nations” on the first day of camp, so it gets loud! The idea behind this “ceremony” is for the students and their countries to be acknowledged before they get split up in to their homerooms to start becoming “American”.
A favorite place or city: Lisbon
A guilty pleasure: Oreos
A language you'd like to learn: Arabic
A life quote: "I never look back, it distracts from the now"
A superpower you'd love to have: mind reading