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 our Spring 2019 Cultural Attachés!

  • Cultural Attache, Avery Barnett.

    Avery Barnett, ’21

    Hometown: Kingston

    Home Country: Jamaica

    Topic(s): Food, music, & dance.

    Placement: Gina Beck, Talented and Gifted (TAG), Davis Elementary School, 3rd & 4th grades

  • Devansh Chandgothia

    Devansh Chandgothia, ’21

    Hometown: Kolkata

    Home Country: India

    Topic(s): Teaching the game of cricket (with Sarthak).

    Placement: Travis Smith, Physical Education (P.E.), Grinnell-Newburg High School, 9th grade

  • Vaani Gupta, photo

    Vaani Gupta, '22

    Hometown: New Delhi

    Home Country: India

    Topic(s): Traditional dance.

    Placement: Gina Beck, Talented and Gifted (TAG), Davis Elementary, 3rd & 4th grades

  • Giang Khuat, photo

    Giang Khuat, '21

    Hometown: Hanoi

    Home Country: Vietnam

    Topic(s): Food (spring rolls).

    Placement: Amy Skouson, Culinary 2, Grinnell-Newburg High School

  • Seokyung Kim, photo

    Seokyung Kim, '21

    Hometown: Seoul

    Home Country: South Korea

    Topic(s): Traditional Games.

    Placement: Karen Veerhusen-Langerud, Grinnell College Preschool 

  • Sarthak Mohindru, Photo

    Sarthak Mohindru, ’22

    Hometown: Gurgaon

    Home Country: India

    Topic(s): Teaching the game of cricket (with Devansh). 

    Placement: Travis Smith, Physical Education (P.E.), Grinnell-Newburg High School, 9th grade

  • Nancy Mu, photo

    Nancy Mu, ’22

    Hometown: Beijing

    Home Country: China

    Topic(s): Traditional ink painting. 

    Placement: Ethan Meints, Social Studies, Grinnell-Newburg Middle School, 6th grade

  • Cultural Attache, Machiko Takanashi

    Machiko Takanashi, ’22

    Hometown: Tokyo

    Home Country: Japan

    Topic(s): Traditional taiko drum playing. 

    Placement: Jeanine Link, Music, Grinnell-Newburg Middle School 

  • Calvin Tang, photo

    Calvin Tang, ’20

    Hometown:Hong Kong

    Home Country: Hong Kong

    Topic(s): Food (dim sum).

    Placement: Alicia Carradus, Talented and Gifted (TAG), Grinnell-Newburg Middle School, 7th & 8th grades

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