Cultural Attache, Jingying, sharing her knowledge on Chinese Opera.

Cultural Attaché Program

Cultural attaché: [a diplomat who shares the culture of their homeland.]

Grinnellians come to Iowa from around the globe! Through our Cultural Attaché Program, we help connect students with local school teachers and community venues in order to facilitate authentic cultural exchange. We think this can help make the world a bit smaller, a bit smarter, and a bit kinder!

Grinnell College students are invited to be a cultural attaché — to share aspects of your home country and culture in engaging ways. Your engagement allows local children and community members to connect with a culture different from their own. You can share musical instruments, pop culture, art forms, language, history, cultural norms, or other things that are important to you! In the process, you will get to know a bit more about the local culture and community, by meeting teachers, students, and community leaders.

If you are student who is interested in becoming a cultural attaché, or if you are a local teacher or community leader who would like to partner with us, please contact Mollie Ullestad.

Being a cultural attaché has been such a great experience for me. It has allowed me to interact with more people from the local community, share my home and caused me to step out of my comfort zone. It’s really fun and rewarding.

Avery Barnett ’21, Jamaica

I as cultural attaché taught how to fold origami to the elementary school students. Before going to the school, I was so nervous and not confident with my class. However, all the children greeted me cheerfully and I became so excited to introduce origami to them. But, I was still not sure whether my classes went well even at the last class. Few days later, I received some origami letters from the students and nice comments from the parents, and I realized my class went well and became more confident with the fulfillment. This program was great opportunity not only to interact with local community members but also improve myself.

Machiko Takanashi ’22, Japan

Meet the Spring 2020 Cultural Attachés!

  • Devansh Chandgothia

    Devansh Chandgothia ’21

    Hometown: Kolkata

    Home Country: India 

    Topic(s): Cricket 

    Placement: Travis Smith, P.E., Grinnell High School 

  • Momiji Fukushima

    Momiji Fukushima ’22

    Hometown: Ishinomaki

    Home Country: Japan

    Topic(s): Japanese rood

    Placement: Amy Skouson, Culinary Arts, Grinnell High School 

  • Vidush Goswami

    Vidush Goswami ’21

    Hometown: New Delhi and Rotorua

    Home Country: India and New Zealand 

    Topic(s): Holi Festival (with Puravi)  

    Placement: Gina Beck, TAG, Davis Elementary/Grinnell Middle School  

  • Hamza Ilahi

    Muhammad Hamza Ilahi ’23

    Hometown: Lahore

    Home Country: Pakistan 

    Topic(s): Cultural, religious, and tourist sites

    Placement: Alicia Carradus, TAG, Grinnell Middle School 

  • Shirley Jwa

    Shirley Jwa ’22

    Hometown: Seoul

    Home Country: South Korea

    Topic(s): Korean food

    Placement: Amy Skouson, Culinary Arts, Grinnell High School 

  • Mario Manalu

    Mario Manalu ’22

    Hometown: Siantar

    Home Country: Indonesia 

    Topic(s): Indonesian children's songs

    Placement: Molly Loftin, Music, Fairview Elementary 

  • Puravi Nath

    Puravi Nath '21

    Hometown: Bangalore and Kolkata 

    Home Country: India

    Topic(s): Holi Festival (with Vidush)  

    Placement: Gina Beck, TAG, Davis Elementary/Grinnell Middle School  

  • Nini Pataridze

    Nini Pataridze ’22

    Hometown: Tbilisi

    Home Country: Georgia 

    Topic(s): Georgian culture and traditions

    Placement: Ethan Meints, Social Studies, Grinnell Middle School 

  • Vyshali Raja Ram

    Vyshali Raja Ram '23

    Hometown: Bangalore

    Home Country: India

    Topic(s): Shanti Bhavan Children's Project

    Placement: Mayflower Community, Lyceum Program 

  • Yi-Chia Wang

    Yi-Chia Wang '20

    Hometown: Taipei 

    Home Country: Taiwan R.O.C.

    Topic(s): Food culture and folk customs 

    Placement: Parker Koester, Social Studies, Grinnell Middle School  

We use cookies to enable essential services and functionality on our site, enhance your user experience, provide a better service through personalized content, collect data on how visitors interact with our site, and enable advertising services.

To accept the use of cookies and continue on to the site, click "I Agree." For more information about our use of cookies and to opt-out of cookies at any time, please refer to our website Privacy Policy.