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Shanghai World Expo 2010: USA Pavilion and USC U.S.-China Institute Student Ambassador Program

Undergraduate and graduate students who have applied to the Program will be notified in December.

October 23, 2009

The USA Pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010 will present a dynamic, emotional story that radiates powerful core values shared by both the Chinese and American people – sustainability, teamwork, health and the fundamental belief that America is a place of opportunity where those who seek to change the world for the better will always thrive and prosper. The theme of the Shanghai Expo 2010 is "Better City, Better Life."

Students have the opportunity to be a part of this unique experience through the Student Ambassadors Internship Program, a partnership between the USA Pavilion and the University of Southern California's U.S.-China Institute. This program recruits and trains volunteer students to serve as guides and national representatives for the United States at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai. Students will lead guests through the Pavilion, provide narratives, and answer questions about the Pavilion's many exhibits (primarily in Mandarin).

The program provides students with:

  1. The opportunity to represent the U.S. and their states to the millions of people from all around the world that will visit the Shanghai Expo.
  2. A unique educational experience as organizations and businesses showcase their research and technological innovations that have contributed to a "better city, better life."
  3. Valuable experience living and working in China and in an international setting to prepare students for future involvement on the global stage of international relations and business. 

The internship program is unpaid. However, the USA Pavilion will cover:

  1. Roundtrip airfare to Shanghai
  2. Housing
  3. Stipend to cover meals and local transportation to and from the Expo site (unless intern is housed in the Expo Village)

Program Dates and Times:

The World Expo will run from May 1 through October 31, 2010. Students will serve as guides for a period of 3 months, with an additional 2 weeks of training (in Shanghai) prior to starting the assignment. These internship dates/periods are not flexible. Each student MUST committ to the entire 3 1/2 month period. Students can apply for one or both periods but can only be selected for one period. The two periods are:

  1. April 15 – July 31 (includes two-week training period in Shanghai)
  2. July 16 – October 31 (includes two-week training period in Shanghai)

The official hours of the Expo are 9:30am – 10:30pm. Guides will be on a 4 days on/3 off work schedule (subject to change). Schedules will be in full compliance with U.S. labor laws.

Program Requirements:

  1. U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
  2. College undergraduate or graduate student (at time of application deadline or at time of internship period)
  3. Ability to speak fluent Mandarin Chinese: Two or more years of college-level language training or ability gained through family or residence in China
  4. Minimum grade point average of 2.75; students from all majors are encouraged to apply
  5. Experience in public relations, well developed interpersonal skills, and a positive outlook on social and cultural diversity

To apply:

The deadline to apply was November 15. Applications or letters of recommendation will no longer be accepted.

The application will not be considered unless all minimum requirements are met and all attachments are provided. Those attachments are:

  1. Statement of purpose that describes why you would like to be an ambassador and why you are qualified to represent the U.S. in Shanghai (no more than 500 words)
  2. Current resume
  3. Transcripts - unofficial transcripts are acceptable
  4. Two letters of recommendation 
    - applicant will provide Full Name and Contact Information for each recommender
    - the application system will notify the recommender and ask the recommender to upload the letter
    - the letter should attest to the applicant's language ability as well as the applicant’s appropriateness for the program

All applicants will be notified in late December 2009. All accepted applicants will be given two weeks from date of notification to sign their commitment letters. Upon acceptance, each intern will be given further instructions and information on how to prepare for the program (including travel and visa).

Questions? Please visit our FAQ 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


 Press releases from the USA Pavilion: English | Chinese