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International Student Programs

Welcome to the Cal Poly Community!

Learn about and participate in International Student Programs to assist  with adapting to life at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and California.

Welcome Ambassadors Program

The International Welcome Ambassador Program offers various cross-cultural group events and social activities each quarter bringing together both international and domestic students. Examples of past events include s’mores on the beach, karaoke night, pumpkin carving, Thanksgiving dinner, and a trip to Santa Cruz, California.

The ambassadors provide an invaluable support system that assists new international students with adapting to life in California.

Sign-up to be assigned an ambassador

All international students and scholars will have the opportunity to sign up for an International Welcome Ambassador and will be emailed an introduction to the program before they arrive. International Welcome Ambassadors keep in contact with their assigned students and meet them as soon as possible after their arrival on campus or may even offer to pick up their students at the SLO airport.

If you are an international student or scholar who would like to be assigned a International Welcome Ambassador but have not received an email, please email

Apply to become a Welcome Ambassador


  • Good academic standing and positive role model with positive disciplinary record
  • Must be able to attend the fall Welcome reception in September
  • Must be able to attend training and be in San Luis Obispo as early as August to meet their international student


International students and study abroad returnees are highly encouraged to apply because these students have been through this experience themselves.

Contact if you are interested in applying to be an International Welcome Ambassador and we will place you on an interest list for the next application cycle, which opens in February/March each year.



Students are recruited to be Welcome Ambassadors



Application cycle opens


Students begin participation


Meet the Welcome Ambassadors

We currently have some amazing International Welcome Ambassador Volunteers! These students have dedicated their time to assist international students with settling in to Cal Poly and the local area.

International students will have the opportunity to meet many of our IWAs throughout the year by attending IWA events.


Senior, Computer Science


Senior, Psychology


Sophomore, Landscape Architecture


Junior, Environmental Management and Protection


Grad Student, Computer Science


Sophomore, Computer Science


Senior, Psychology, Spanish


Junior, Environmental Management and Protection


Senior, Architecture


Senior, Liberal Studies


Grad Student, Engineering Management


Senior, Business Administration

Poly Hosts Program

The International Poly Hosts Program helps foster connections between Cal Poly International students and the Cal Poly community. International students will get the opportunity to experience life in the local SLO community through occasional visits with their Poly Host's home, going out to see a movie together, meeting at a coffee shop, or celebrating family or holiday occasions.

Poly Hosts will in turn gain a deeper understanding of other cultures while also having the opportunity to share their culture.

Poly Hosts and International Students at Yosemite
“Our international students are a special bunch-- adventurous people with a zest for life. It is a privilege to hear their experiences, and to see our area fresh through their eyes. I have been talking about this program with all my work-mates, and telling them what a positive experience it is” – Poly Host

A Poly Host is a Cal Poly staff or faculty member who has volunteered their time to get to know one, two or even three Cal Poly international students.

Become a host

Cal Poly staff or faculty interested in participating should contact Bianca Silva at

Apply to be hosted

This program is open to all current international students. Please submit an online student application found on your International Student Hub to be considered for this program.

Matches can sometimes be made within a couple weeks after submitting an application or you may be placed on a wait list.