For over 40 years, The American Language & Culture (ALC) Program has brought university students from across Asia for an intensive 4-week English course at Stanford and an immersive introduction to American culture through the lens of innovation and social impact in Silicon Valley. Participants primarily come from mainland China, Taiwan, and Japan, but the program is open to undergraduate and graduate students from any region in Asia.
ALC Program Coordinators work as a team to build community, foster cross-cultural understanding, and serve as peer mentors for participants. 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 six university students for the 2020 cohort.
WHY CHOOSE ALC NEXT SUMMER?
Develop Project Management Skills – Effectively manage a co-curricular program of your own design to help participants better understand American culture. You will develop and apply skills in: project management, curriculum design, budgeting, group facilitation, and collaborating in teams. You will be supported – rather than directed – by VIA staff; as an equal member of the team, your input will be valued, taken seriously, and acted upon.
Take the Lead – Coordinators take the lead in organizing a site visit to a Bay Area organization and/or volunteer activity. You will be the main point-of-contact between VIA and the organization(s) of your choice, and you will be responsible for planning exciting and educational visits for your group. The Program Director will guide you through the process of reaching out and nurturing these connections.
Receive Mentorship – VIA staff act as mentors to guide your professional development throughout your ALC experience. Training begins with virtual monthly group calls in the Spring, an intensive week-long training on campus prior to student arrival, daily feedback on program activities, and professional development workshops on resume-writing, purpose development, grant-writing, and other topics of interest to Coordinators.
Build a Cross-Cultural Network – ALC is not only an opportunity to help Asian students gain a fuller perspective of the US, it is also an opportunity for you to learn from your colleagues in your Program Coordinator cohort and program participants from all over Asia.
Receive Funding for Travel – You will form lifelong friendships with an amazing group of unique people, and after the program, you’ll earn up to $1500 to visit your new friends in their home countries in Asia and get to experience their daily lives firsthand. Alternatively, coordinators who must travel to the Stanford campus from Asia or other parts of the US, may choose to be reimbursed for travel to join the team.
Learn more about the experience from past ALC Coordinators and Participants on our blog!
- “Reflections from an ALC Coordinator” by Cristina Ammon (DSI 2018 Participant, ALC 2018 Coordinator, 2018 Rikuzentakata Participant, DSIxASB 2019 Stanford Host)
- “Reflections from an ALC Participant” by Mu Jay Tai (2018 Participant)
- “The Value of Diverse Perspectives: A Summer in Silicon Valley & Japan” by Dana Zhao (2018 Coordinator, 2018 Rikuzentakata Participant)
Pre-Program (mid-April-August 1)
- Attend once-a-month training calls (via Skype)
- Respond to emails and communicate with VIA staff about summer logistics in a timely manner
- Reach out to the participants via email, Canvas, or social media (Line, Wechat, etc.)
- Prepare a presentation and related activities on an aspect of American culture that you are passionate about (past topics include: LGBTQ+, food insecurity, art for social change, media and representation, health access, diversity and inclusion in higher education)
- Organize a visit to a Bay Area organization or service project for a group of participants
- Be on-campus and participate fully in the pre-program training week (July 27-Aug 1, 2020)
During the Program (August 2 – 29, 2020)
- Live on-campus at Stanford University with participants to support a group of 10-12 students with adjusting to life at Stanford and community-building
- Work with the team to organize program events (e.g. talent show, gala) and to maintain a safe and healthy dorm environment
- Deliver your American culture presentation and lead related activities
- Lead an organization visit and/or volunteer activity and additional recreational activities for your group
- Facilitate group reflections to help participants learn from and process their cultural experiences
- Participate in daily coordinator team meetings
- Relay program announcements to participants daily
- Assist with program documentation and content creation (photos, social media, blog posts, etc.)
- Attend evening study halls to support participants with English class assignments
- Be flexible and willing to support the team and participants with unexpected changes as needed
- Current university student, or graduating in spring 2020
- Available to live in Stanford University dorm with ALC participants from July 27 – August 29, 2020
- Fluent in English (Note: English does not have to be your first language) and comfortable with supporting English language learners
- Highly organized
- Able to self-direct and manage self-care
- 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
What Coordinators Receive
During the Program
- Single dorm room and meal plan at Stanford for training week and during the program
- Field trips to San Francisco and around the Bay Area
- $300 budget to plan organization visits and recreational activities with your participants (e.g. transportation costs)
- Per diem to cover personal meals when off-site for program duties
- Personal Time: The program is intense, in part because activities may run late into the evening, and also because emergencies may arise unexpectedly. Coordinators are expected to be available to support the team at any hour of the day, including on weekends. However, we also recognize that it’s important to prevent exhaustion and undue stress. You will work with the Program Director and fellow members of the team to coordinate personal time away from the program (approximately two cumulative days off during the program) and breaks throughout the day.
After the Program
- Visit new friends in Asia! Receive up to $1500 reimbursement for travel expenses to visit ALC participants in their home countries (reimbursement must be requested within one year of program end date)
– OR –
- Join a VIA Program! Coordinators can also choose to use $1500 towards a VIA program fee (fee reduction must be requested within one year of program end date). For example, in recent years, VIA has organized a ten-day program in Tokyo and Rikuzentakata (a community recovering from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster) directly after the ALC Program.
Application & Program Timeline
- Application Deadlines
- Priority deadline: Jan 31, 2020 @ 11:59 PM PST
- Round 2 deadline: February 28, 2020 @ 11:59 PM PST
- Round 3 deadline: March 27, 2020 @ 11:59 PM PST
- Applicant Interviews
- Round 1: Jan 28-Feb 7, 2020
- Round 2: Feb 25-Mar 6, 2020
- Round 3: Mar 25-Apr 3, 2020
- Position offers emailed to accepted applicants: Within one week of interview
- Applicants accept position offers: Within one week of offer
- Pre-program Orientation & Training: April – July (monthly group/individual Skype calls)
- Training week (on-campus): July 27 – August 1, 2020
- ALC Program (on-campus): August 2 – August 29, 2020