Cultural Mentor Program


9564024781_516687016f_bThe 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.

Interested in Becoming a Cultural Mentor?

The application to be a Cultural Mentor for the fall 2018 semester is closed; we will accept applications for the spring 2019 Cultural Mentor program in October. Visit our Cultural Mentor application page for information about the benefits, requirements, and time commitment of being a Cultural Mentor, and to apply!

Why Connect?

After signing up, we will assign you a pair of Cultural Mentors who are part of an Interest Group. Each group will have various planned activities each semester. Cultural Mentor Interest groups provide members a great opportunity to connect with others who hold similar interests, share in fun experiences, build a support system, and to learn about various cultures from around the world!

You can remain in contact with the Cultural Mentors who communicated with you throughout the summer, but your new Mentors 1619492_10203114148919653_695672527_nwill also stay in contact the rest of the semester and let you know about fun events to attend. It’s a great way to start building your community here at CSU! (Note, this is different from the First Year Mentoring Program.)

Sign up here to be matched with a Cultural Mentor


Cultural Mentor Events:

In addition to being paired with a Cultural Mentor who can answer your questions, the team of 30 Cultural Mentors regularly hosts activities and events open to all international students!

Past events have included: 

  • 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!!


Madeline Davis

Bachelors in Economics and Sociology.

Hobbies: Nature, hammocking, walking my dog
Places Lived:  Delaware (home) and Colorado (school)
Reasons why I love CSU: I love the beautiful nature, friendly people, old town, and the weather!

Rohan Jhaveri
Masters in Electrical and Electronics Engineering 

Hobbies: Watching and playing sports, movies, music, exploring new places, and cooking.
Places Lived: Mumbai, India and Fort Collins, USA.
Interesting Fact About Me: I am a little introvert person but love being in a good company. I am a die hard cricket fan. I love to explore new places and make new friends. I am always ready for hiking and adventures.

Jenna Miller
Interior Design, Minor in Spanish. 

Hobbies: Hiking, skiing, triathlons, Taekwondo, cooking, reading, sketching
Places Lived: Greeley and Fort Collins, Colorado
Interesting Fact About Me: I can often be found watching Scooby-Doo.

Gaurav Harshe
Masters in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Hobbies: Sketching and painting on glass, canvas, sandpaper, plastic, walls, (almost anything). Exploring Colorado’s landscapes.
Places Lived: Mumbai, India.
Interesting Fact About Me: I have been a vegetarian all my life.You can find me attending some of the 250+ CSU UCA’s events, making new friends and catching up with besties over dinner or planning fun events.

Shakota Dilley
Double Major in Microbiology and Anthropology 

Hobbies: Outdoor activities- Hiking, kayaking, camping, sports, traveling; Reading, art, cooking, volunteering
Places Lived: Colorado, Nebraska, Virginia, Oklahoma
Interesting Fact About Me: I shaved my hair for St. Baldrick’s, a fundraiser for children’s cancer research.

Hari Surayagari
Masters in Computer Science

Hobbies: Soccer, gaming
Places Lived:
Hyderabad, India
Interesting Fact About Me: I have like 5 credit cards and still manage to be broke most of the times. Seriously though I am an all-round guy. Love Liverpool FC, love rock concerts, hate iPhone and Justin Bieber!!

Gayatri Pendharkar
Masters in Electrical Engineering

Hobbies: Singing, hiking, reading, dancing. Outdoorsy; and at the same time equally lazy!
Places Lived:
USA is the first country I have lived in apart from India. I did visit Seattle and Portland.
Interesting Fact About Me: I am a jolly and a really chatty person. Love to meet people (implied from the chattiness). I do have an unusual appetite for tic-tacs (I know…)

Mike/Qingyuan Sun
Masters in Student Affairs in Higher Education

Hobbies: Music, karaoke, watching movies, workout
Places Lived: China and Colorado
Reasons why I love CSU: CSU thinks highly of diversity, and welcomes international students. SAHE program has high reputation in the US.

Kelly Hill
Bachelors in Communication Studies

Hobbies: Running, cooking, baking, drawing, hiking, snow boarding
Places Lived: Chicago, Illinois and Fort Collins, USA.
Reasons why I love CSU: It is very outdoor focused, there are people from all over the United States that come here and bring their diverse backgrounds with them, it is also eco-friendly which is something that is important to me. I also love old town and everything it has to offer students. The location of Fort Collins is also very nice and if I want to go to the mountains for the weekend and snow board or hike I can easily do that.

Athith Amaranth
Masters in Electrical Engineering.

Hobbies: Traveling, biking, cooking, playing music and being outdoors!
Places Lived: Born and raised in many cities of Southern India; Fort Collins, CO USA.
Interesting fact about me: I am an aspiring DJ and a travel addict. I am into snowboarding, backpacking and motorcycling; and a partner in a company on Basketball journalism ‘Ekalavyas’ in India.

Laura Dunlap
Junior in  Political Science and Minor in International Development

Hobbies: Aerial dancing, stand up, traveling

Places Lived: Colorado, Czech Republic, Italy

Interesting Fact About Me: It’s my goal in life to travel to every continent by the time I turn 30. I already have North America, Africa and Europe crossed off my list!

Mirza Baig
Masters in Electrical Engineering

Hobbies: Photography, Food

Places Lived: Hyderabad, Fort Collins

Reasons why I love CSU: The place is amazing, peace and calmness all around.

Kelsey Easton 
Senior in English, Psychology; minor in Spanish

Hobbies: Camping, hiking and finding a nice spot int he shade to read the classics and international affairs.
Places Lived: Fort Collins native, also lived in Costa Rica
Interesting Fact About Me: I am one of the worst basketball players you’ll ever see, but I am a master marshmallow roaster.

 Melanie Leong
Junior in Wildlife Biology

Hobbies: Nature, lacrosse, rock climbing, hiking, music, dancing

Places Lived: California, Colorado, New Zealand

Reasons why I love CSU: The friendly community and passionate people!

Laxmitej Vengala
Masters in Computer Information Systems 

Hobbies: Cooking, outdoor activities, sports, riding bikes (but lost the habit in Fort Collins)
Places Lived: Hyderabad, India and Fort Collins, Colorado
Reasons why I love CSU: Most friendly and safe university. We can find study + fun togetherness, an experience of living in a small town with a very technical environment can be found.

Sara Clark
Senior in Health and Exercise Science(Sports Medicine)

Hobbies: Physical therapy, sports, Community service events, Travel bug!
Places Lived: Born in Milwaukee(Wisconsin), moved to Denver since early childhood.
Reasons why I love CSU: Old Town offers so many ways for fun! Close to the mountains, people of FoCo and CSU are so kind and always hold the door open for you. Strong sense of community here and Rams always help Rams! CSU encourages you and challenges you to grow and reach your full potential in all aspects of your life.

 Jo Buckley
Junior in International Studies, Spanish, History

Hobbies: I love the time outdoors in beautiful Colorado. I do yoga, bike the trails, and hike near Fort Collins. I love to cook and try new recipes.

Places Lived: Northern Colorado, studied abroad in Spain, Kenya, Zambia, and Cuba.

Reasons why I love CSU: CSU has something for everyone. I love that you can connect to your interests while expanding yourself and trying things you never thought you would. We are all here to learn and take care of each other. I love the academics, the scenery, the opportunities, but mostly, the people!

Miah Lingelbach
Sophomore in Biomedical Sciences

Hobbies: Soccer, Science, Jokes, Good food, Coffee, Hikes, Camping.
Places Visited: North Carolina, North Dakota, Hawaii, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado.
Reasons why I love CSU: I love CSU because of the community. This is one of the most welcoming places I have ever lived and have heard that from so many other students. I love the small, college town feel that is quaint and homey. I love the professors who genuinely care about you and your grades. I love the positive environment that sets up a will for success.

 Ismail Alhelal
Senior in Chemical & Biological Engineering

Hobbies: Picnic, BBQ, soccer, cooking & photographing.
Places Lived: Saudi Arabia (KSA)
Reasons why I love CSU: Beautiful Campus, Safe city, and friendly people of Fort Collins!

 Syed Naqvi
Junior in Economics and Math (Minor)

Hobbies: Soccer. Reading articles and news, mainly related to my major.

Places Lived: Karachi, Pakistan. Fort Collins, USA. Girne/Kyrenia, North Cyprus.

Reasons why I love CSU: I love CSU for the opportunities, diversity and the support it has given to me.

 Mariah/Zhiyun Wang
Sophomore in Environmental Engineering

Hobbies: Badminton, cooking, and baking.

Places Lived: Shanghai, China; Harlan, IA; Summerville, SC; Fort Collins, CO.

Reasons why I love CSU: CSU is the most sustainable/green institute of higher education in the United States!

Amy Kalinski
Junior majoring in Mathematics and Computer Science, minoring in Japanese

Hobbies: Hiking, Camping, Rock Climbing, Snowboarding, Painting, Volleyball, Playing Video Games
Places Lived: Niwot, and Fort Collins, CO; Takamatsu, Japan.
Reasons why I love CSU: I love CSU because it is a community that is positive and accepting.

Hadley Rentz
Sophomore in Music Therapy

Hobbies: Hiking, music, hanging with friends, exploring Colorado.
Places Lived: Portland, Oregon
Reasons why I love CSU: Friendly faces and mountains, understanding professors and staff, accessibility and spirit, supportive colleagues and professionalism with just the right amount of fun, Go Rams!

Yandongxue Chen
Junior in Landscape Architecture

Hobbies: Chinese Culture, Painting, Cooking.
Places Visited: China, Italy, Switzerland, Germany.
Reasons why I love CSU: I like the greenery, the landscapes as well as people here in Fort Collins!

Chenda Deng
Doctoral candidate in Civil Engineering

Hobbies: Skiing, basketball, hiking, cooking.
Places Lived: China.
Reasons why I love CSU: CSU feels like my home!

Zihan Jin
Senior in Liberal Arts(English Language)

Hobbies: Translation, reading, Chinese painting, swimming, playing volleyball.
Places Lived: China.
Reasons why I love CSU: I am a proud RAM and there is no reason why I do not love CSU.

Samhitha Tippa Reddy
Masters in Horticulture

Hobbies: Painting, reading books, coin and shell collection, being outdoors
Places Lived:
Hyderabad(India), USA
Interesting Fact About Me: My world revolves around plants

Shreesh Maurya
Master’s in Computer Information Systems

Hobbies: Driving, coding and dancing to bollywood songs.
Places Lived: Pune, India and Fort Collins, USA.
Reasons why I love CSU: I love CSU because people here are so amazing and Colorado is beautiful.

Reza Ameri
Ph.D. in Structural Engineering

Hobbies: Traveling, road trips, hiking, camping, reading, and cooking.
Places Lived: Iran, U.S.
Interesting Fact About Me: I am one of the biggest candy addicts you will ever meet. I’m particularly in love with Haribo gummies!

Akanksha Kashyap
Master’s in Computer Information Systems

Hobbies: Dancing, Cooking, Shopping 🙂
Places Lived:
Indore(India), Pune(India), Guadalajara(Mexico), Fort Collins(USA)
Interesting Fact About Me: CSU has a great campus and good facilities. I work as a GTA here and it has been one of the best experiences I have had in my life. I love to interact with my students and I work for a wonderful professor!

Brandon Reimers
Senior in History, International Studies, Spanish

Hobbies: Hiking, Photography, Biking, Model Railroading, reading, music-listening, movie-watching, apple-eating. Expert Areas: History.
Places Lived: U.S., Highlands Ranch & Fort Collins, CO.
Reasons why I love CSU: I also love the strong presence of international students and internationalism in general that this campus offers. Speaking as someone who has travelled all over the United States, I can definitively say that Colorado State is truly a haven for internationalism and multiculturalism, especially in this region of the country.

Lexi Thomas
Senior in International Studies

Hobbies:  Hiking, camping, skiing, fishing and everything alike. Listening to music and going to concerts. I spend a lot of time learning Spanish and learning about other cultures as well.
Places Lived: Colorado, US.
Reasons why I love CSU: I love CSU because our awareness of the different. CSU is a big school with a lot of different people. CSU does a great job including everyone. No matter you race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc, there is a place for you to fit in here and CSU does a great job doing that

Frank Axt
Senior in Psychology

Hobbies: Skiing, watching Netflix, running, eating pizza, hanging out with friends and video games.
Places Lived: The Netherlands and Colorado.
Reasons why I love CSU: CSU is awesome because of the amazing community, the beautiful nature and great small town atmosphere.

Dhruv Patil
Ph.D. in Computer Science

Hobbies: Photography, Outdoor Activities
Places Lived: Pune (India), Fort Collins
Reasons why I love CSU: Great places for photos on and off campus, amazing people to interact with and an excellent scope for professional and personal development.

Allyson Hannah
Senior in Sociology, International Development, and Spanish

Hobbies: Yoga, painting, gardening, spending time with my cat, exploring the art scene in Fort Collins.
Places Lived: Peru and US.
Reasons why I love CSU: The inclusive community at CSU, alternative spring breaks and the beauty of the campus.