The American Language & Culture Program has been hosted on the Stanford University campus for over 40 years. This program brings together university students from across Asia for an intensive 4-week English course and an immersive introduction to American culture through the lens of innovation and social impact in Silicon Valley.
The ALC Student Coordinators play a critical role in supporting participants through peer mentorship, community-building, and fostering cross-cultural understanding. Coordinators often come from diverse backgrounds themselves, and therefore offer participants a richer, more diverse perspective on American identity and experiences.
This position is open to 10-12 Bay Area university students. The position has traditionally been an opportunity for Stanford students, as they are most familiar with the campus, student life, and resources available. However, applications from exceptional non-Stanford students will also be considered.
WHY APPLY TO BE A STUDENT COORDINATOR?
Today’s university students have a plethora of opportunities open to them in the summer, so why choose ALC?
Serious Skills – You will have the chance to develop and apply many of the same skills you would in any other internship, including project design/management, activity budgeting, collaborating in teams, facilitation, professional presentations, and more. Additionally, VIA staff will act as mentors to guide your professional development throughout your ALC experience.
Take the Lead – This is far beyond a coffee- and copy-making experience. You will be responsible for your own group of participants; you can develop your own projects and activities, supported – rather than directed – by VIA staff; and you are considered an equal member of the team – your input will be valued, taken seriously, and acted upon.
Cross-Cultural Connections – For our past coordinators, this is by far the most valued and longest-lasting benefit of ALC. You will form lifelong friendships with an amazing group of unique people from all over Asia. After the program, you’ll have the opportunity to go visit your friends in their hometowns and get to experience their daily lives firsthand.
- Join an orientation session (in-person at Stanford or via Skype) in early summer
- Respond to emails and communicate with VIA staff about summer logistics in a timely manner
- Read your group of participants’ applications and introduce yourself to them via email
- Propose a topic for your presentation on an aspect of American culture to the program director
- Be on-campus and participate fully in the pre-program training and prep week (July 24-29, 2017)
During the Program
- Welcome students at the airport on arrival day
- Present on an aspect of American culture for the Asian students, demonstrating proper US university-level presentation skills
- Design, co-design, and/or lead two educational or recreational activities each week
- Attend evening study halls to help participants with the English class assignments
- Support a participant group of 10-12 students with adjusting to life at Stanford
- Assist with announcements, program documentation (photos, social media posts, blog posts, etc), group supervision, maintaining a healthy and safe dormitory atmosphere, and other tasks as requested by the program director
After the Program
- Participate in a program debrief
- Visit participants in their home countries and maintain lifelong friendships
- Meet the next year’s coordinators to share your insights, advice, and experience (for those available)
- Current university student, or graduating in spring 2017
- Available to physically be on the Stanford campus July 24 – September 2, 2017
- Fluent in English (does not have to be your first language) and comfortable with supporting English learners
- Highly organized
- Able to self-direct
- A strong collaborator
- A team player, ready and willing to jump in and support others when needed
- A good communicator, especially in cross-cultural contexts
- Experience acting as a mentor, coach, or group leader
- Familiar with the San Francisco Bay Area
- Valid US driver’s license, with 1+ year’s driving experience in the US
About the Japan Trip
This year, 5-7 coordinators will have the opportunity to join a 10-day VIA-facilitated study program Tokyo and the northern Tohoku region of Japan immediately following the program (as an alternative to the $1200 travel expense reimbursement – see “Compensation” below).
Coordinators will spend several days at Rikkyo University, learning about how students there are using social innovation and design-thinking to address challenges in Japan’s society. They will then spend several days in the community of Rikuzentakata to see how it has worked to recover after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster.
Application & Program Timeline
- Application deadline ― March 27, 8:00 AM PST
- Applicant interviews ― April 3-7
- Position offers emailed to accepted applicants ― April 10
- On-campus orientation session ― Mid-May (usually 1-2 hours in the afternoon)
- Pre-program preparations ― June (contact participants in your group; submit presentation proposal)
- Move to campus ― July 23/24
- Training week ― July 24 – 29
- ALC 1 in session ― July 30 – August 26
- ALC 2 in session ― August 6 – September 2
- Japan Trip ― September 3 – 13 (for selected coordinators)