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FAQs: Shanghai World Expo 2010 Student Ambassador Program

October 14, 2009
  1. Is this program only open to USC students? No, this program is open to ALL students who meet the criteria.
  2. I am not a college student. How can I volunteer at the Expo? For volunteer opportunities at the Expo outside of this particular program for college students, you should contact the USA Pavilion directly:
  3. Does USC offer any course credit for this program? Unfortunately, USC will not offer any course credit for this program. Students will essentially be giving up a semester of school unless they can make arrangements with their universities and faculty to continue part of their course work and exams while in China.
  4. The internship dates overlap with my school semester/quarter. Can I participate for only part of the internship period? No, students must commit to the entire 3 1/2-month internship period. Students will essentially be giving up a semester of school unless they can make arrangements with their universities and faculty to continue part of their course work and exams while in China.
  5. Where does the two-week training take place? The two-week training will take place in Shanghai.
  6. Where will interns be housed? The USA Pavilion will arrange double-occupancy housing for most interns at the Expo Village. Others will be housed in nearby sites.
  7. How much is the stipend? The amount of the stipend will be calculated based on the cost of an average day's meals and the cost of transportatation to and from the Expo site. Students staying at the Expo Village will not be given a transportation stipend.
  8. I am an international student on an F-1 visa. Am I eligible to apply? Unfortunately, no. Because students are representatives of the U.S., they must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
  9. If I am a graduating from my university this year, am I still eligible to apply? Yes, if you will be completing your studies in the 2009-2010 academic year, you are still eligible to apply.
  10. I am currently not a student but will be in Fall 2010. Am I eligible to apply? Yes, you are eligible to apply. However, if selected, evidence of acceptance into a college program will need to be provided prior to the internship start date.
  11. If I am currently in my second year of Mandarin Chinese, am I eligible to apply? If by the time of the internship start date, you have completed two years of Mandarin langauge instruction, yes, you are eligible to apply.
  12. I have taken two years of Mandarin but am not fluent, more conversational. Should I apply? Fluency is crucial to the success of the internship program. Students will be asked to provide detailed narratives in Mandarin, answer questions from Chinese visitors, and explain exhibits. This requires a strong grasp of the language. Students with only conversational Mandarin ability should consider carefully before applying. Students with more advanced language ability would be more competitive.
  13. I am a native Mandarin speaker and do not have a professor/instructor that could attest to my language ability. What should I do? Arrange to meet with a language instructor who can give an evaluation of your language ability. That person should then write an evaluation which you would include with your statement of purpose. The two letters of recommendation should still make mention of your language ability.
  14. Do I need to submit an official copy of my transcript? For the application process, only an unofficial copy is required.
  15. How do I upload my trancripts? Please scan and upload the copy to the online application.
  16. I am a freshman and my transcripts currently do not have any information, including my current GPA. Should I provide my high school transcripts instead? Yes, freshman students can provide their high school transcripts. However, students should obtain letters from their faculty (on university letterhead) that attest to the student's progress in each course. The letters serve as evidence that the student meets the minimum GPA requirement and that the student is attending a college or university. Those letters should be scanned, attached to the statement of purpose, and then uploaded.
  17. Can the letters of recommendation be written in Chinese? No, both letters must be written in English.
  18. How will my recommenders submit their letters? The online application will ask for full names and email addresses for both recommenders. Once the application is submitted, both recommenders will be sent an email with directions on what to include in each letter and also how to submit their letters online.
  19. Are the recommendation letters also due by the application deadline? Yes, the complete application, including all attachments and letters are due by November 15.
  20. I am a recommender. What questions should I address in the letter? Please note how long and in what context(s) you have worked with the applicant. Please discuss the applicant’s readiness to spend three and a half months in Shanghai this coming summer, working to guide and inform visitors at the USA Pavilion. Please note personal experiences, attributes, and skills that will make the applicant effective in this demanding role. If you can, please also assess the applicant’s Chinese language abilities.
  21. Will I be notified when my application is complete? No, it is the applicants' responsibility to check the status of their applications and to make sure their recommenders have submitted their letters by the application deadline.
  22. When do I find out whether or not I've been selected? Notification letters will be sent via email and postal service in late December 2009.
  23. If selected, how long do I have to decide whether to accept the offer letter? All students accepted into the program will be asked to sign a commitment letter within two weeks of notification of acceptance.

Return to the program home page.

For more information, contact the USC U.S.-China Institute at:

USC U.S.-China Institute
3535 S. Figueroa St., FIG 202
Los Angeles, CA 90089-1262

For information on the USA Pavilion, visit