Shaping the international student experience


The #WeAreInternational student ambassador programme is an education policy and leadership development scheme for international students in the UK. With my growing interest in education policy and love for personal development, I thought it would be the perfect fit for me, and I was right!

From the very beginning, UKCISA staff have been nothing but kind and supportive. Even the recruitment process was insightful and enjoyable. It entailed a group activity and presentation, then a one-to-one interview. I remember all the candidates being so passionate, confident, and knowledgeable. We were informed of the decision a couple of days later, and fortunately, I was successful.

The induction training session, being before the pandemic, was an in person two-day event. It covered an introduction to UKCISA, essential policy knowledge and skills, and an individual session going through our personal development plan, tailoring it to our policy area of interest.

Being a #WeAreInternational student ambassador has been one of the best experiences of my university journey. I have been able to have a say in the international student experience! This has included:

  • a UCAS live event helping address student concerns and questions regarding what university was like in the pandemic.
  • being part of team that launched the #WeAreTogether campaign in response the pandemic. This campaign aims to provide reassurance and support for international students, who may be far away from home and their families.
  • being part of conversations that seek to improve the welfare and experience of international students.

These experiences have developed my presentation skills, my creativity and critical thinking, and really grown my confidence. As much as the programme is about empowering student ambassadors (and students as a whole) to be key partners in shaping a quality student experience, UKCISA also very much invests in our personal growth and development. Being a civil engineering student, I did not have specific experience that would have made me a “sure candidate”, but I believe it was my passion for and interest in student representation, and willingness to learn and grow, that played a part in my success.

Apply before Tuesday 10th November 2020 for this year’s #WeAreInternational student ambassador programme!

Michelle Jideofor came from Botswana in 2018 to study Civil Engineering