Cultural Mentors

The Cultural Mentor Team is a group of U.S. American and international student volunteers who have been trained to assist new international students with their adjustment to the U.S., on everything from finding housing to tips about Fort Collins to cultural adjustment. Follow us on Instagram!

Cultural Mentor Events

In addition to being paired with a Cultural Mentor who can answer your questions, the team of Cultural Mentors regularly hosts activities and events open to all international students!

Past Events

  • Night at the Corn Maze
  • Pumpkin Carving
  • Intramural Basketball Team
  • Ice Skating
  • Scavenger hunt of Old Town
  • Salsa Dancing lessons
  • Game Night
  • Karaoke Night
  • Movie Nights
  • Valentine’s Day Card-making Party
  • Easter Egg Dying/Hunting Party
  • Trip to the “Cheap Theater”
  • Laser Tag
  • Day in Boulder
  • and more!!

Why Connect?

We will assign you a Cultural Mentor who will communicate with you throughout the summer. The Cultural Mentors will also have various activities each semester. Cultural Mentors provide students with a great opportunity to connect with others, share in fun experiences, build a support system, and learn about various cultures from around the world!

Meet the 2019-2020 Cultural Mentors

Mohamed Abdelhafez
Master’s in Structural Engineering

Home Country: Egypt
Hobbies: Gym, graphic designer, video editing, video games, watching movies in theater, Netflix/TV series, bowling, playing Squash, board games, biking, traveling
Places Visited: Egypt, Saudi Arabia and USA
Reasons why I love CSU: Unique nature, outdoor activities, moderate weather, diversity of the community, friendly people and highly safe.

Hashim Akbar
Junior in Electrical Engineering

Home Country: Kuwait
 Tennis, Sports, and the outdoors.
Places Visited: Kuwait, Fort Collins, and Loveland.
Reasons why I love CSU: The people.

Bassam Alabbadd
Junior in Chemical & Biological Engineering

Home Country: Saudi Arabia
Hobbies: Sports, outdoor activities, traveling, networking, and management.
Places Visited: Dammam, Saudi Arabia, Delaware, and Colorado
Reasons why I love CSU: I love CSU because it is where a super friendly community can be found. Not only this, its location is kind of attractive to me as I am thrilled by the mountains and other outdoor activities.

Hussain Alabdullah
Senior in Electrical Engineering 

Home Country: Saudi Arabia
 Soccer, Volleyball, photography, Film maker, Video and board games, and Discovering
Places Visited: Saudi Arabia – USA – France – UK
Reasons why I love CSU: Because it is a multicultural area, have a have many activities to do, diverse and friendly people.

Emilyn Bell
Junior in International Studies and Spanish

Home Country: United States
 Hammocking, Hiking, Camping, Climbing
Places Visited:
 United States (Ohio and Colorado), Spain (Alicante), Argentina (Buenos Aires).
Reasons why I love CSU: I love CSU because of the beautiful campus, welcoming people, and the many things to do. CSU has truly become my home in the last 3 years!

Abigale Currie
Junior in Spanish and English Language

Home Country: United States
Creative writing, rock climbing, running, hiking, reading, Spanish, languages in general, guitar, eating, and trying new things.
Places Visited: Born in: Ogden, Utah. Other locations: Nebraska, Florida, Texas, California. Other countries: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Reasons why I love CSU: I love CSU because it is such a picturesque city. I was born in a mountain city, and coming to Colorado felt like coming back home. I’m able to study in a serene city surrounded by a kind community, and this environment allows me to grow everyday.

Juan Manuel Estrada McDermott
Master’s in Clinical Sciences, Veterinary Medicine

Home Country: Costa Rica
 Horse back riding, birdwatching, singing, dancing
Places Visited: Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala, USA, Canada
Reasons why I love CSU: Awesome university and fantastic city

Tea Feliciano
Junior in Human Development and Family Studies

Home Country: United States
Hobbies: I study Human Development and Family Studies. I am passionate about loving people and building each other up. I was a part of the Outdoor Leadership Program my freshman year and I love the outdoors. I want to join the Peace Corps and later pursue a degree in Occupational Therapy to aid individuals with varying abilities and disabilities.
Places Visited: Colorado Springs, Colorado. I have visited Puerto Rico, Mexico, and a bunch of the states here in the USA.
Reasons why I love CSU: The opportunities for growth and the friendships I’ve made have made my time here at CSU so fulfilling.

Sara Findley
Junior in Human Development and Family Studies

Home Country: United States
 I love swimming and being outside, but also love to play board games and have a nice relaxing day. I’m always ready to try out new activities and experiences.
Places Visited: Longmont, Colorado
Reasons why I love CSU: Everyone’s so friendly and there’s always something to do, any day of the week.

Sofia Forcatto
Sophomore in Political Science

Home Country: United States
Hobbies: Salsa dancing, Coffee drinking, Hiking, and volleyball!
Places Visited: California, Colorado
Reasons why I love CSU: I transferred to CSU after my first semester of college. I did not feel like i had found a place that had everything I wanted until I came to CSU. The school is in a beautiful city with so much to explore. The people are so friendly and warm and just want others to feel at home. I want to give some one else the same welcoming feeling I did when I arrived.

 Kira Gillett
Junior in Ethnic Studies (with a Minor in International Development)

Home Country: United States
Art (painting, photography, charcoal), hiking, volleyball, reading, traveling, gardening.
Places Visited: United States (Kansas, Colorado, Virginia), and Thailand (Chiang Mai, for 4 months)
Reasons why I love CSU: I enjoy CSU for many reasons. Firstly the location is beautiful, with many hikes and activities to do. Secondly, the education I have received (in the liberal arts and international programs departments) has been some of the most eye opening, interesting, holistic, engaging, critical learning content I have had throughout my entire education in the US. On this note, there is always some event, or lecture that I can attend to learn more about any subject I please. Thirdly, I have met so many open minded, supportive individuals who have created a my community. Lastly, CSU’s campus is really user friendly, and tends to be a safe space for people. There also are many inclusive cultural centers, clubs, and groups people can participate in. Overall, I have absolutely no regrets in my choice to come to CSU and I will miss it when I pursue post education career paths.

Rohit Gorle
Master’s in Computer Information Systems

Home Country: India
Traveling, Reading, Adventure sports.
Places Visited: India, Vietnam, Colorado,Washington D.C
Reasons why I love CSU: Nature and the beauty of the campus, Multicultural Backgroud, Peaceful and homely place.

 Bellina Guerra
Junior in Microbiology

Home Country: United States
I love anything that involves the outdoors; hiking, snowboarding, swimming. I was also a dancer for 10 years and it will always be my escape whenever I need to destress.
Places Visited:I was born and raised in Southern California and it will always be my home however I am happy to also call the beautiful state of Colorado my home away from home.
Reasons why I love CSU: CSU has so many opportunities for their students and anyone whose willing to take advantage of them. Also Cam the ram duh!

Julia Kallis
Junior in Music Performance

Home Country: United States
 Music, hiking, graphic design, tea drinking, yoga
Places Visited: Lived in United States, visited Thailand, Vietnam, England, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Italy
Reasons why I love CSU: CSU is a laid-back yet driven campus, and the people in the community are genuine and kind! It’s also a beautiful campus.

 Michaela Kelley
Junior in Human Development and Family Studies with a Business Administration minor

Home Country: United States
Downhill skiing, climbing, camping, running, boating, Christian ministries, traveling/adventures, etc.
Places Visited: I grew up in Minnesota, have lived in Colorado for the past three years, and I spent ten weeks in Alaska this summer (I will also be spending another six weeks there this summer).
Reasons why I love CSU:I love CSU because it has everything I was looking for when searching for a college. It is the perfect place for anyone who loves the outdoors, and Fort Collins is such a fun town. I have also met some of the best people here and have created a genuine and supportive community that I know will always be there for me. I honestly could not imagine myself attending any other university, I am so proud to be a CSU Ram!

Joshua Kirschner
Senior in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability

Home Country: United States
 Back-country hiking/camping; Running; Gardening; Nutrition
Places Visited: I have lived in Colorado and Texas.
Reasons why I love CSU: I love CSU because they are well-known for their sustainability programs and the proximity to the Rockies. I also love CSU because of the sense of community that develops here.

 Kate Kostenkova
Doctoral in Chemistry

Home Country: Ukraine
 Exploring Colorado landscapes, skiing, cooking, traveling, postcards collecting, reading and learning about new things
Places Visited: New Salem, ND; Spokane, WA; Fort Collins, CO
Reasons why I love CSU: I love CSU because of the amazing Chemistry Department, great Fort Collins area, welcoming people, good craft beer, lots of hiking and skiing areas nearby.

Daniela Navarro
Senior in Journalism, International Studies and Spanish

Home Country: United States
Hiking, cooking, baking and trying new foods, watching movies and TV shows, traveling, bike riding, talking, writing, playing board games.
Places Visited: Lived: California, Colorado, Spain and Peru; Visited: France, United Kingdom, Italy, Mexico
Reasons why I love CSU:I love CSU because of their resources and how helpful they are. I also love the university spirit. It’s so uplifting and makes me proud to be a CSU Ram.

Manish Parajuli
Master’s in Construction Engineering Management

Home Country: Nepal
 Expert Areas: Construction and design, Hobbies: Reading books, Fishing, Soccer, Meditation
Places Visited: Kathmandu (Nepal), Delhi (India), Colorado (USA)
Reasons why I love CSU: Friendly Community, Immense Hospitality and Support of People makes CSU a great place to fall in love with.

Saloni Patel
Master’s in Environmental Engineering

Home Country: India
 Research new water technologies, love hiking and explore new places
Places Visited: India, Fort Collins
Reasons why I love CSU: I love the culture and super friendly people at CSU.

Brook Rajnowski
Junior in History and Education

Home Country: United States 
 Marching Band, Concert Band, hiking, travel, history
Places Visited: Home country: United States Hometown: Grand Junction, Colorado Studied Abroad: Maynooth, Ireland
Reasons why I love CSU: It feels like home. My parents both attended CSU, so I grew up visiting campus and hearing stories throughout my entire childhood. When it came time to choose a college, CSU stood out as the college that made me feel supported, safe, and welcome.

America Rios-Martinez
Junior in International Studies, Spanish and Economics

Home Country: United States
 Painting, tennis, boxing, and hanging out with family/friends
Places Visited: Home Country: US, Brighton CO
Reasons why I love CSU: I love the CSU campus, the friendly people, the great view of the mountains, caring professors, and the many opportunities to get involved.

Archana Sajeev
Master’s in Computer Engineering

Home Country: India
 I love hiking, working out, playing with cats and puppies (it’s better than meditation to calm the nerves!). Love roadtrips and being the DJ during one, trying out different cuisines and walking around towns trying to find the most interesting looking houses, streets, trees! It’s an adventure on it’s own.
Places Visited: Lived in Bangalore, India and travelled within India extensively. My favourite place has been Andamans and Nicobar islands (Gotta love that island life!). I have been living in Fort Collins, US since August 2018.
Reasons why I love CSU: CSU is an amazing place where people are super welcoming and makes you feel right at home. I have met so many interesting people here who have become such good friends to me and definitely a big part of my life and I am grateful for that.

Amira Shawesh
Junior in Chemical and Biological Engineering & International Studies

Home Country: Libyan-American
 I get distracted easily, so I enjoy doing new different things. Nothing specific.
Places Visited: Libya, Morocco,Tunisia, Malta, United Kingdom, Canada, Italy
Reasons why I love CSU: CSU is a very accepting and kind community that is unique and cant be found anywhere else.

Omar Shehab
Master’s in Civil and Environmental Engineering

Home Country: Jordan
 Soccer, Badminton, Hiking, Traveling.
Places Visited: Jordan, Lebanon, Dubai, New Jersey, New York, Chicago.
Reasons why I love CSU: They are my new family.

Camila Silva Monroe
Sophomore in Chemical and Biological Engineering with minors in Food Science and Safety, and Technical and Science Communication.

Home Country: Brazil 
 Engineering, chemistry, sensorial science, food science, communication, journalism, movies, TV series, international cuisines, languages, shopping, riding my bike, spending time in the mountains, and petting dogs.
Places Visited: Lived: Brazil (Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo) and US (Littleton and Denver), Visited: Brazil, South Africa, USA (27 states), Iceland, France, England, Spain, Japan, Belize, Honduras, and Mexico.
Reasons why I love CSU: We are a green school, mostly filled with awesome people who care about the world and wants to make it a better place!

Amanda Spidel
Junior in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

Home Country: United States
 Service, snowboarding, hiking, painting and being will my friends and family.
Places Visited: Aurora, Colorado
Reasons why I love CSU: The communities that I have made and met during my time at Colorado State

Andre Vieira Pigatto
Ph.D in Biomedical Engineering

Home Country: Brazil
 Exploring new places, traveling, hiking, practicing motocross, gliding, cooking (Especially BBQ), bicycling, riding motorcycles, camping, music, but mainly trying new activities/experiences.
Places Visited: Brazil and Fort Collins, CO, USA.
Reasons why I love CSU: People are very friendly and helpful, the campus is safe and full of resources, there are a lot of great professors, and it is located in a lovely city, surrounded by mountains and beautiful nature.