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 Fall 2019 Cultural Attachés!

  • Momiji Fukushima

    Momiji Fukushima, ’22

    Hometown: Ishinomaki

    Home Country: Japan

    Topic(s): Traditional Japanese games (with Shirley)

    Placement: Gina Beck, TAG, Grinnell-Newburg Middle School

  • Shirley Jwa

    Shirley Jwa, ’22

    Hometown: Seoul

    Home Country: South Korea

    Topic(s): Traditional Korean games (with Momiji)

    Placement: Gina Beck, TAG, Grinnell-Newburg Middle School

  • Sesili Koberidze

    Sesili Koberidze, ’21

    Hometown: Tbilisi

    Home Country: Georgia

    Topic(s): Socioeconomics, history, and culture/traditions

    Placement: Parker Koester, Social Studies, Grinnell-Newburg Middle School 

  • Nicole Mendez Subieta

    Nicole Mendez Subieta, ’21

    Hometown: Cochabamba

    Home Country: Bolivia

    Topic(s): Amazon Rainforest forest fires

    Placement: Todd Crites, Contemporary Global Issues, Grinnell High School 

  • Jo Saito

    Jo Saito, ’23

    Hometown: Tokyo 

    Home Country: Japan

    Topic(s): Japanese video game culture and traditional games (kendama)

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

  • Cultural Attache, Machiko Takanashi

    Machiko Takanashi, ’22

    Hometown: Tokyo

    Home Country: Japan

    Topic(s): Origami

    Placement: Farren Johnson, Art, Fairview Elementary

  • Calvin Tang, photo

    Calvin Tang, ’20

    Hometown: Hong Kong

    Home Country: Hong Kong (SAR)

    Topic(s): History in pictures

    Placement: Mayflower Community, Lyceum Program

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