2020-2021 International Student Ambassador applications available

Everyone knows the International Student Ambassadors from Orientation

And the various events they organize


Did you know that Ambassadors:

receive a scholarship

leadership opportunities

team building experiences

help recruit new students


Want to be an Ambassador for the 2020-2021 academic year?

Applications are available here

Submit your application before the deadline to be considered.


2019-2020 International Student Ambassador Application now available

Do you like to meet new people?

Do you like to help people?

Do you know your way around UMKC and KC?

If so, then you may be a wonderful candidate to be an International Student Ambassador.  The 2019-2020 International Student Ambassador application is now available.

2019-2020 International Student Ambassador Application

The deadline to submit COMPLETED, TYPED application packets is 5 PM Monday, February 25th.  NO LATE NOR INCOMPLETE APPLICATION PACKETS WILL BE ACCEPTED!

Roo Spotlight- Tina Parki

Major: Chemistry

Country of Origin: Iran

Tina Parki is in her final year at UMKC and currently serves as a campus ambassador and president of the Alpha Phi Omega co-ed fraternity. When she’s not in school, she is a group fitness instructor.

How would some of your closest friends or family describe you?

My family and friends would probably describe me as crazy (in a good way!) and extroverted. I enjoy meeting new people and seeing old friends, not to mention I am always dancing, even in the most random places.

What do you enjoy about UMKC?

I enjoy UMKC because of the size of the campus and the diversity! It is a decent size where I am not too last to walk to class but enough that I get my steps in. The diversity of UMKC compared to other universities is crazy, I have never been prouder of a campus to have support for all their students.

What do you miss the most?

Something I miss the most is having time. I am so busy and always running around but I purposely keep myself busy, so I do not have time to just sit and do nothing. There is just not enough time to do everything I would like to do.

What is a memory you are very fond of?

Anytime I hang out with one of my closest friends, Aminah, we always have a good time! One time we went to Chicago and winged the whole trip and I love being able to do that with someone.

Roo Spotlight- Theresa Nguyen

Theresa Nguyen

Major: Chemistry B.A.

Minors: Biology and Psychology

Country of Origin: United States of America (St. Louis, Missouri)


What do you enjoy about UMKC?

I love the people. I moved all the way across Missouri and in less than a year, I found a family here. They are so welcoming and loving. I can’t imagine myself anywhere else.

How would some of your closest friends or family describe you?

They would say I am very outgoing and hardworking. I am always laughing or smiling, and I love meeting new people. I also take whatever my goals very seriously. So if you see me in the library working intensely, you know why. But I love being outdoors and being surrounded by people.

What are some things you value and why?

I value my quality time with God in the morning or any time during the day. I also love spending quality time with my friends and just getting to hang out and eat food together. You get to know people better when you spend time with them, especially quality time. I love having connections with people and this is how I get to form these connections. As you can see, quality time is my love language.

Roo Spotlight- April Stratman

April Stratman is an International Student Advisor at the UMKC Applied Language Institute (ALI).

Stratman moved to Kansas City from Minnesota, at a very young age and has since been a big fan of the Sporting KC club. She enjoys BBQ, the Cheesecake factory and all of the different festivals in Kansas City – Culture Night, First Fridays, Big Picnic and Plaza Art Fair.

Her favorite memory while growing up was the opportunity to learn the Italian language from her grandparents. Learning Italian and Spanish at the same time was confusing, she turned this passion into a desire to study abroad and travelled to Alicante in the southeastern part of Spain. She has been to 26 countries and speaks a number of languages including French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and English.

One of her greatest achievements is completing her Master’s in International Relations at Missouri State University. While on exchange abroad, Stratman did not feel very welcomed as a foreign student and hopes to help international students feel more at home.


Bringing the Brazilian Beat

An article published by the UMKC Foundation highlights Braulio Bosiloves.  Braulio is a former international student at UMKC as well as an International Student Ambassador!  We are very proud of you Braulio!!!  Below is the article.

Bráulio Bosiloves loves sharing his passion and heritage with a wide range of people throughout Kansas City.  As a UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance alumnus, scholarship recipient, and the school’s new guitar professor, he often plays at events around the city and interacts with donors to the Conservatory.

“If it weren’t for the scholarship I received while earning my Ph.D., I wouldn’t have come here, period,” he says.

A native of Brazil, Bráulio received the Ryan Greenberg Scholarship and cherishes the relationship he’s built over the years with the fund’s donors, Larry and Genie Greenberg.

“As an international student, I know the importance of having someone who could introduce me to American culture,” he says.  “The Greenbergs and I are good friends – they have been great to me.”

Recruited as a student by former Conservatory guitar professor, Doug Niedt, Bráulio moved into his teacher’s role last fall when Niedt retired. Bráulio and his wife, a current UMKC student, had gone back to Brazil for a year when he was recruited for the position and decided to return to Kansas City.

“It feels so welcoming here – like you’re wanted and you belong,” he says. “Other schools are friendly, but never at the level of UMKC.”

Bráulio hopes to create a guitar tradition here by recruiting students while building bigger programs within area high schools.

“Guitar programs are large at southern high schools in Oklahoma and Texas, and I believe that’s what we need here in Kansas City,” he says.

When he’s not teaching, recruiting or working on his research, Bráulio enjoys playing at different venues around town, and the ones he looks most forward to are his performances at Bishop Spencer Place, a retirement community near the Plaza.

“They are my favorite audience in Kansas City. I always tell them that, and I mean it,” he says.  “I have become friends with some of the residents there who are donors to the Conservatory. While I play, I talk a lot about the cultural aspect of a song and what it means in Brazil. It’s a very personal concert because they know me well.

“A lot of my repertory is from Latin America, from northeast Brazil, the Amazon, and my state of Espírito Santo, north of Rio. The audience thinks Bach is cool, but they really want to know ‘when is he going to play Brazilian music?’”

Barbara Weary, who started the Women’s Committee Taylor Weary Scholarship at the Conservatory, has seen Bráulio perform at Bishop Spencer Place every year since he was a first-year doctoral student at UMKC.

“It has been so much fun to see his self-confidence grow,” she says.  “He has so much presence and is always trying new things.  He is a breath of fresh air and I truly admire him.”

Bráulio thinks that talent matters, but the ability to sit down and practice for hours and hours is what he feels makes a musician successful.  It’s often these long sessions that can cause injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

“People don’t always see the work that goes on behind the scenes – the pressure to give a perfect performance,” he says.  “When you’re practicing eight hours a day, it can put significant stress on your muscles and tendons.  Musicians are athletes for small muscles.”

To help prevent injuries as well as break bad habits, Bráulio’s dissertation and research is focused on creating techniques to help guitarists have an injury-free career, and his articles have appeared in many journals in Latin America.

At the end of the day, it’s all about the opportunity to play his guitar and introduce others to his background.

If it wasn’t for donors, Bráulio believes there would be significantly less high-quality art of any kind. It’s important to him that we continue to talk about music, dance and the arts from our different countries.

“Art is what really represents any culture,” he says. “Donors are who keep this tradition alive.”


International Student Ambassadors for 2018-2019 Academic Year

ISAO is happy to announce that five new Ambassadors will join with 3 returning Ambassadors for the 2018-2019 Academic Year.

The returning Ambassadors are:

  • Baanu Jeevanba from Malaysia
  • Bing Low from Malaysia
  • Vivian Zheng from China

The new Ambassadors joining them are:

  • Khurshed Akabirov from Uzbekistan
  • Ricardo Aristiguieta from Venezuela
  • Felipe de Avila Braga from Brazil
  • Joshua Koni from Cameroon
  • Sai Siva Kumar Pinnepalli from India

The new Ambassadors will officially begin their duties in August but will get a crash course while assisting this year’s Ambassadors with the 10th Annual Culture Night on April 21, 2018.

Culture Night 2018 – April 21st at 5pm

YOU’RE INVITED TO CULTURE NIGHT 2018! It’s the 10th anniversary of one of UMKC’s biggest events so mark your calendars for Saturday, April 21st at 5pm in Pierson Auditorium.

Bring your friends, family, coworkers and anyone else who would like to join!


FOR MORE PHOTOS AND INFO CLICK HERE: https://www.facebook.com/UMKCInternationalStudentAffairsOffice/

YOU CAN ALSO SEE ADDITIONAL PHOTOS HERE: https://www.instagram.com/umkcisao


  • Admission, food, and parking are FREE!
  • UMKC has over 1000 international students from 78 different countries (see attachment for list)
  • Last year over 1,300 people attended
  • Culture Night 2018 will feature talent and fashion from: China, India, Iran, Kurdistan, Oman, Pakistan, Turkey, Bangladesh, Mongolia, and Nigeria
  • Culture Night 2018 will include booths showcasing information from: Kuwait, India, China, Spain, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Oman, and Saudi Arabia
  • Food buffet and student-run educational booths will take place in Pierson Auditorium (located in the Atterbury Student Success Center) from 5pm to 7pm.
  • The talent show and fashion show of traditional apparel will take place in Swinney Recreation Center at 7pm.

We hope you will join and support us as we celebrate the beauty of diversity, taste flavors from around the world, look beyond borders, and celebrate each other as a united community. We want to focus on learning about (and from) each other by fostering unity through cultural exchange, respect, and empathy.



Ritika Chowdri

Major: Computer Science, MS

Time Spent in the U.S: 2 years

Hometown: Roorkee, India

 “I think we should be happy in whatever we do and be hardworking. You should be kind towards others. I have seen so many people be judgmental. They don’t understand and push their views on you. Everyone has a different story. You don’t know. So many people are just doing things and choosing their careers because somebody told them to do it. Even for me, people wanted me to do engineering, but I did not want to. I felt the pressure I had to do it. I still have not figured out what I want to do. Once I get independent I will figure it out and maybe change my career. It is really difficult with your parents paying your education. You cannot do what you want.

I wish I wasn’t scared to try new things. I have wanted to do many things such as zip lining, skydiving, deep sea diving but I was so scared to try! I also have stage fear even though I love singing and dancing. If I am in front of many people, I just can’t. I hope to overcome it someday.”

Ritika is inspired by women who are trying to change the world and breaking stereotypes. She believes we should not judge a woman differently. She hopes to inspire other women to fight for their dreams. She currently has her options open and is excited to figure out and realize her own dreams. She values independence and the ability to exercise our choices. #feminist

International Roos

Raphael Bartmann

Major: Business major, emphasis in Marketing

Time in the U.S.: 1 semester (since August 2017)

Country of Origin: Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany

“I would say that I am a trustful, spontaneous person.  I love to enjoy new things.  Also, I care a ot about my family and friends.  It is important for me to stay in touch with them but it gets difficult sometimes with the difference.  For me, it has not been much of an issue being away from home.  I see it as an opportunity to experience new things.  It is an adventure and I want to get the most of out of being here.  I’m only here for four months and so it is not a long time.  I will miss experiencing new things everyday while I am here.  I am proud that I can adjust and get along well in new environments.  I managed it really well when I was in Canada and here too.  It has helped me grow personally.  Here you are forced to meet new people and get out of your comfort zone to explore.”

Raphael imagines himself working in a position that someday manages international business.  He is excited for the endless possibilities ahead of him with his eyes set towards pursuing a Masters degree abroad.  He still wants to explore his options and is very excited for his future endeavors!