The UMKC International Ambassador program consists of selectively chosen international and domestic students to serve as official university diplomats. International Ambassadors are available to act as hosts/hostesses at a variety of university events, as guides to university visitors and prospective students, and as the primary contact for admitted students regarding questions about UMKC, Kansas City or the United States. They also serve as an aid to new international students in the transition process from their home country to the United States and UMKC.

Have a question for the Ambassadors about UMKC, Kansas City or the US, reach them at



Ricardo Aristiguieta-Pulgar (Venezuela)
Accounting BS


I came to the U.S. a few years ago to study and improve myself.  I’m from Venezuela where education is very important and encourage and since then I have done my best to experience new things, stay involved and make new friends.  As an Undergraduate Accounting student, not only does the Bloch School offer classes with amazing professors, the school also offers plenty of opportunities to get involved on campus. While Kansas City itself offers many activities for enrichment and entertainment including museums, theaters, parks and more.  I think there is no better place to learn and experience life than UMKC.



Isabela Felipe dos Guimaraes (Brazil)
Psychology and Criminal Justice/Criminology BS

My first experience as an international student was in Canada, where I spent my senior year of high school.  After, I decided that I would like to go to a university in the United States.  In 2016, I had the opportunity to come to UMKC.  Since 2016, I have been having an amazing time at school.  My majors are psychology and criminal justice/criminology.  I also have a minor in English as a Second Language.  During my free time, I like to try food from different countries, therefore, I can also learn more about different cultures.




Joshua Koni (Cameroon)
Computer Science BS

I love adventure and love meeting new people.  A few years ago, I came to Kansas City as an AFS exchange student, met a great host family that inspired me to try new things.  I fell in love with KC and decided to come back for university.  During my first year at UMKC, I made a goal to meet a new person every day.  This enabled me to share, learn about other cultures and build a network on campus where I can now go for assistance.

With being in the heart of the nation, Kansas City provides so many great opportunities for my degree program through its many local companies and also, a variety of things to do to stay entertained.  I always love taking a new friend to First-Fridays or Third-Thursdays and enjoy playing table tennis and biking around KC too.

I love Kansas City, and love the person it made me become.


Bingshiun Low (Malaysia)
Economics Ph.D.

I always believe that “Be comfort in your uncomfortable zone”. This brings me from Malaysia to Kansas City. Although it takes me a while to adapt to current life, but I would say choosing UMKC is one of the greatest choices in my life. Coming here with my passion and excitement, UMKC has fulfilled my expectation. As a graduate student in UMKC, I am very proud to say they provide a good system and support for all the students. At the same time, Kansas City is a great city for business opportunity and living. It is challenging to be here as an international student, but no pain no gain, with the dedication and support in UMKC and Kansas City, I believe I can do it and everyone can do it.



Ofure  Musa-Agboneni (Nigeria)
Public Administration MPA

I grew up hearing this quote from my High School Principal- “Don’t just pass through school, allow the school to pass through you as well.”  These words always resonated within me and as I left my home country, Nigeria, and started my undergraduate degree at UMKC in 2014, I made sure I applied this to my everyday life.  I joined multiple organizations on campus where I’ve served as a volunteer, social chair, radio host, president and now an Ambassador.  I finished my undergraduate degree in journalism and mass communications in 2017 as a University Scholar and a Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Honor Recipient.  I enjoy my service to UMKC and my community because it has shaped me to be the leader I’ve become and still becoming.  I’m currently pursuing my master’s degree in public administration and I’m honored to keep serving and allowing the school to pass through me.  UMKC has been my home for the past 5 years and I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything else in the world. 


Jose Pineda-Lugo (Venezuela)
Mechanical Engineering BS

Four years ago, my life took an unexpected turn.  I decided to learn a new language to challenge myself.  I left my family back home in Venezuela, to start a new chapter of my life.  Originally, I was only meant to study English at a small college in Kansas City.  That first semester that I was learning English I had the opportunity to visit what is now my home school, “The University of Missouri in Kansas City,” but I didn’t know that at the time.  I was amazed by the wonderful campus that they had, the friendly and helpful staff that they had and of course by the amazing soccer field.  On that day, I started to dream about getting by Bachelor’s degree in the United States.  UMKC offered me everything I could possibly think of!  They offer great scholarships for international students which makes it more affordable than any other institution, they have an amazing group of faculty and staff that help you in every way possible to achieve your goals.  They offer great academic programs with a lot of distinctions and how to forget their amazing campus and location?  Close to the beautiful Kansas City downtown!  The place that inspired me to get a great education, became the place where I will accomplish my biggest dream. . . yet!


Sai Siva Kumar Pinnepalli (India)
Chemistry and Physics IPhD

I used to turn the toys my dad used to bring home into pieces just to know how they work (consequences followed!).  The passion emerged out of curiosity coupled with inquisitiveness to unravel the vast world engulfed in a nanoworld of atoms enthused me to pursue higher education in chemistry and physics.  Born and brought up in a small district of Southern India (Anantapur), pursuing higher education in the US has been a dream since childhood.  I obtained my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in chemistry from SSSIHL, Puttaparti.  The Interdisciplinary PhD program offered at UMKC attracted me a lot, I knew I found my destination.  I became a bold, professional and an accountable person within a year.  Kansas City welcomed me with lush greenery, its exploration never ends, and I love this place.  It’s a good opportunity to learn different cultures and become more aware as a seeker.  I thank my family and relatives for their support.  At leisure times I play volleyball, shuttle badminton and sing songs.  I take this opportunity to extend a warm welcome to all the international students to the knowledge hub.


Vivian Zheng (China)
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

Since I first played a game on a computer I knew that would be my passion in the future, I have always enjoyed computer and programing. My favorite thing about UMKC is the studying atmosphere, after I visited the campus two years ago I knew this would be a place I could grow and develop. When i started studying at UMKC, the friendly professors and students helped me fit in, since this is a total different education system from my home country. While studying at UMKC, I sharpened my professional skills, made friends from multiple countries, and also experienced the colorful local culture.