Who We Are
The Assembly of International Students is a student group at the University of Pennsylvania run and represented by students of global backgrounds, whether international or not. We organize activities including, but not limited to, International Student Orientation (ISO), mentorship programs, social events, conferences, alumni networking events, and the Student Ambassador Program. Since 2016, AIS has evolved as an umbrella organization representing and funding constituent groups of different nationalities, ethnicities and cultures.
We work closely with the student government, the university administration, and the International Student and Scholar Services to create tangible benefits for international student life, to magnify the voices of international students at Penn and beyond, and to promote collaboration and harmony between students of different nations and culture.
We achieve these aims by advocating for the interests of international students among other student groups, umbrella organizations, and the administration, and creating asocial network through which international students can connect and utilize in pursuit of common goals and ideals.
All undergraduate students of the University of Pennsylvania, not just international students, are eligible for membership in the AIS. All members work in a committee that matches their interests and all committees are represented on the Steering Committee, our governing board.
The Assembly of International Students was co-founded by undergraduate Alexander Giannakakis, (C’10), first AIS President, along with Tiago Sanfelice (C’09), Alec Webley (C’11) and Annabelle Hache (C’09).
AIS branched out from the International Student Advisory Board and the International Partners Outreach Group with the support of then-OIP director, Dr. Rudie Altamirano. The group was formed because of a noticeable lack of a student group that would cater exclusively to the needs of international students on Penn’s campus. It was formed to be continuously progressive, flexible in its agenda and always in touch with the current needs of international students. The structure of the group was designed to be non-hierarchical and flat that would enable freshmen to get involved with issues pertaining to their own experiences. It currently addresses all issues that international students face, while providing a supportive, social, and professional network.