Cultural Attaché Program

The Cultural Attaché Program helps connect international Grinnellians with the local Grinnell community through its local schools and community venues in order to facilitate authentic cultural exchange. It invites international students to share things and topics they love from home while also allowing members of the Grinnell community to welcome international students into new environments. Cultural attachés have visited local spaces like school classrooms, the Grinnell Arts Center, and the Mayflower Community, with almost 25 international students from 10+ countries sharing their culture in unique and fun ways. These attachés have shared anything from food to music, politics to sports, and language to pop culture. In this work, the Cultural Attaché Program hopes to make the world a bit smaller, a bit smarter, and a bit kinder.

Any appropriate cultural topic is welcomed! If you are a Grinnell international student interested in becoming a cultural attaché, please fill out the form below. Please email Emily Perry or OISA with any questions.

Student Application Form

Cultural Attaché Testimonials

  • Cultural Attache Presentation with Andrea, showing Scarlet Macaws

    Grinnell Middle School

    Andrea Suazo Rivas ’24

    Honduras

    I gave a virtual presentation to students from the Grinnell Middle School about Honduran wildlife and ecosystems as part of the Cultural Attaché Program. I was so excited to share a part of my country I love and cherish, especially since not many people are aware of Honduras’ beauty. The students showed great interest in the stories I had to share, specifically the animal encounters I have personally experienced, and some of them even volunteered their own stories and knowledge. It was lovely to see the wonder in their eyes and interact with them after the presentation ended. I can’t wait for future opportunities to share more about my country and culture with the world.

  • Shirley Jwa playing gonggi with Grinnell Middle School students

    Grinnell Middle School

    Shirley Jwa ’22

    South Korea

    “I went to a 5th grade class at Grinnell Middle School and introduced a Korean traditional game called gonggi. The students quickly learned the game and enjoyed it so much that they even asked if they could keep it. They were also enthusiastic throughout the game, which made me happy. Especially in the end, some students personally came to me and thanked me for coming and sharing the game. This made my day, and I felt grateful to be able to share my culture and feel appreciated.”

  • Nicole Mendez Subieta talking to Grinnell High School students

    Grinnell High School

    Nicole Mendez Subieta ’21

    Bolivia

    “This semester I got the opportunity to share more about Bolivia’s current situation to the class of Mr. Todd Crites, a contemporary clobal issues teacher at the Grinnell High School. Bolivia has been facing social convulsion ever since Evo Morales, my president for already 14 years, decided to run for a fourth term after ignoring a referendum in which the majority of Bolivians voted NO to his perpetuation in power. Being away from home in pivotal moments like this can be very hard, but feeling that there are people, and especially a young group of students, that seem interested and curious about what is happening back home means worlds to me. It was a great honor and pleasure sharing my perspectives on the current socio-political situation in my country, and I look forward to other opportunities to keep on sharing about my country and culture.”

  • Calvin Tang speaking to an audience at the Mayflower Community

    Mayflower Community

    Calvin Tang ’20

    Hong Kong [SAR]

    “As part of the Cultural Attaché Program this fall, I was able to visit the Mayflower Community as one of the Lyceum speakers and presented on a brief history of Hong Kong, in photos. This was a great chance for me to talk a bit about the history of home through one of my favorite mediums — photography! I had a really nice time sharing some of me and my parent’s stories from growing up to an attentive crowd from the Mayflower, and was eager to answer many of the questions they had for me too! I felt very welcomed and it warmed my heart to see everybody come to shake my hand and say hi at the end of my talk — they also wrote a sweet card and sent me home with the best plate of cookies I’ve had in my life!”

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