Wesleyan International Speakers Program (WISP)

Collage of WISP participants

The Wesleyan International Speakers Program (WISP) is a year-long volunteer program for current Wesleyan students who are passionate about promoting intercultural awareness, bridging cultural gaps, and fostering global connections within our campus and beyond. The program offers a unique opportunity for students who identify as coming from an international background to serve as Speakers and share short presentations and talks about their home country(ies), culture(s), and/or language(s) with various audiences within the Wesleyan and Middletown communities. Read on to learn about each of the Speakers and the structure of the program. Complete this form to request a WISP Speaker for your class or event. 

WISP Speakers – Academic Year 2023-2024

  • Vik Georgieva (she/her)

    Class of 2027 - Government, Neuroscience and Behavior, Psychology


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    Languages spoken: I’m fluent in Bulgarian, English, and Russian. I’m currently learning French, ASL, and Greek at Wes and self-studying Macedonian and Turkish.

    Involvement at Wes: Mock Trial, Debate team, WesBuds, FGLI community, Linguistics Club, Excited to get involved in dance!

    Bio: Hey hey! I’m Vik (she/her) and I’m a freshman, majoring in Government, Neuroscience and Behavior as well as Psychology. I’m from Haskovo, a small town in Southern Bulgaria. In my free time I read (anything really, but mostly graphic novels) and make comics. I enjoy dancing and fashion. My favorite building on campus is Allbritton but the construction site next to Exley is a close second. On campus I’m mostly involved in public speaking clubs, like Mock Trial and Debate. A fun fact about me is that I know every poem by Hristo Botev, my favorite Bulgarian revolutionary, by heart. I love memorizing stuff, so I happen to know the entire Bee Movie script as well. Through WISP I’m inviting people to get more familiar with Bulgaria but I’m also excited to learn about the countries the other wonderful speakers are from.

    Why did you join the WIS Program?

    I joined WISP because most people in the U.S. don’t know much about Bulgaria. I’d like to spread awareness about my culture and its origins. I’m particularly interested in the language, history and traditional dance.

  • Lois Amponsah (she/her)

    Class 2027 - Neuroscience, Economics


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    Languages Spoken: English, French , Twi

    Involvement at Wes: African Students Association, Neuro Club, Wes Entrepreneurship Club

    Bio: Hi everyone! My name is Amponsah Lois Antwiwaa and I use she/her pronouns! I am a rising sophomore majoring in Neuroscience and Economics. I grew up in Ejisu - Abenase. On campus I am involved in Neuro Club, Wes Entrepreneurship Club and African Students Association. Outside of school I love playing the guitar, watching Ted Talk videos and napping. My hobby is singing. One interesting fact about me is I love to try new things: new food, new hobbies, new places. I want to be part of the WISP program because it is a great oppportunity to share my country's traditions, customs, and values with others, fostering a better understanding of my culture and promoting global awareness.

    Why did you join the WISP Program?

    I joined the WIS Program to share my culture with others while learning theirs. I believe that in my small way I am contributing towards global peace and unity.

  • Adriana Alfaro (she/her)

    Class of 2026 - Government & Theater, minor in Global Engagement


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    Languages Spoken: Spanish, English

    Involvement: Latin and Ballroom, Book Lab

    Bio: Hi everyone! My name is Adriana. I am a first-semester junior majoring in Government and Theater with a minor in Global Engagement. I was born in Caracas, Venezuela, but I was raised in San Antonio de Los Altos and lived there for 17 years. On campus, I am involved in the Latin and ballroom club. Outside of school, I love watching TV and hanging out with friends and family. My hobbies are dancing and reading. One interesting fact about me is that I love the beach. I want to be part of the WIS program because I want to share facts about my country.

    Why did you join the WISP Program?

    Because some people do not know where is located Venezuela at, in fact some people do not know that the first language of Venezuelan is Spanish. I want people about the beauty of my country but also the corruption that destroyed.

  • Sida Chu (she/her)

    Class of 2026 - History, Theatre, & Science in Society


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    Languages Spoken: Chinese (Mandarin), English, Spanish

    Involvement at Wes: The Wesleyan Argus

    Bio: Hi, I'm Sida! I use she/her pronouns and am a History and Science in Society double major. I was born and raised in a small Chinese town called Jiaozuo before moving to Singapore for high school. On campus, you can find me advising students at the Writing Workshop, writing and editing for The Wesleyan Argus, running behind the scenes of theatre productions, or burying myself in the East Asian Studies archive. I'm a big fan of black coffee, corny rom-coms, and anything matcha-flavored. I also enjoy cooking, reading, and traveling: in the past year alone, I've visited 9 countries! 

    Why did you join the WISP Program?

    Having spent time in China, Singapore, and the U.S., I've grown a deep appreciation for cross-cultural conversations in food, art, and everyday life. I'd like to share my passion for fusion cuisines, vernacular languages, and forgotten histories with a broader audience in the Middletown community.

  • Luna Kwon

    Class of 2027 - Undecided

    South Korea

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    Languages Spoken: Korean, English, Spanish

    Involvement at Wes: Spectrum, Korean Language Buddy, KSA, Spiketape

    Bio: Hey guys! My given name is Hyesang and I also go by Luna. I go by any pronouns! I’m a rising sophomore still undecided what I want to major in, but I’m having so much fun here at Wes exploring! Some hobbies I’ve already identified are playing the bass, drawing, and taking walks around campus with a coffee in hand. I also love watching stuff - movies, musicals, shows, skits, etc. On campus you’ll most likely find me in the corners of Olin, Pi Cafe, or at the UOC every Sunday for the Spectrum board meeting. An interesting fact about me is that I’ve worked as a tour guide in one of Korea’s palaces before. I’m so excited to be a part of the WISP program and hope to learn a lot from the process!

    Why did you join the WISP Program?

    I joined because I love hearing about people’s home countries - these stories help me get over my homesickness and connect with people. And as much as I enjoy learning about new cultures, I love sharing mine! Korea’s a wonderful country with rich history and culture.


  • Tihitina Gebeyehu (she/her)

    Class of 2027 - Molecular Biology and Biochemistry


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    Languages Spoken: Amharic, English

    Involvement at Wes: ISAB, ASA, WISP

    Bio: Hi everyone! I'm Tihitina. I use she/her pronouns. I am a freshman planning to major in molecular biology and biochemistry. I grew up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Outside of school I am passionate about healthcare and enjoys spending time with children. In my free time I like writing poems, trying new foods and playing the Kirar (a traditional Ethiopian instrument). On campus you can find her sitting on one of the benches around the chapel or somewhere in Exley.

    Why did you join the WISP Program?

    There is so much culture and beauty in Ethiopia that the outside world doesn't know about. I I would like to share Ethiopia's unique alphabet, dressings, cuisine and also the diversity within the country itself. By joining WISP I would be able to share my culture and also learn about other countries.

  • Abdiasis Daauud

    Class of 2027 - Computer Science


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    Languages Spoken: Somali, English

    Bio: Hi! My name is Abdiasis Daauud and I am from Somaliland. I am a rising sophomore majoring in Computer Science. Outside of school, I enjoy coding, playing FIFA and playing soccer. One interesting fact about me is that I am the oldest of 9 children.

    Why did you join the WISP?

    I joined the WIS Program with a specific focus on addressing the cross-cultural impact within the Somali community. There's a beautiful harmony between religion and ethnicity, with each holding its distinct influence without getting entangled with the other. This coexistence allows for the unique expression of both aspects, creating a rich tapestry that reflects the best of both worlds.

  • Holiness Igiraneza (she/her)

    Class of 2027 - Molecular Biology and Biochemistry


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    Languages Spoken: Kirundi, French, Kinyarwanda, Swahili, and English

    Involvement at Wes: African Student Association, Wesleyan Refugees Project, International Student Advisory Board, Wesleyan International Speakers Program.

    Bio: Hi Everyone! My name is Holiness Ange Igiraneza; I use She/her pronouns! I’m a freshman. I was born and raised in Burundi. On campus, I’m interested in doing research about epigenetics. I love writing and dancing in my free time.

    Why did you join the WISP?

    Being part of the WIS program is a way for me to showcase the culture of Burundi. I hope my presentations inspire people to broaden their horizons. I’m particularly interested in the traditional dances as well as the language and history of my home country. I love being part of the international community on the Wesleyan campus and I’m eager to give back and contribute to our campus culture of acceptance and curiosity.

  • Ting Tsai

    Class of 2027 - Interdisciplinary Arts Management


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    Languages Spoken: English, Chinese, German

    Involvement at Wes: Outing Club, Debate Team, Green Fund, SOC Fashion, The Argus, Joe Webb People's Museum!

    Bio: Hey everyone! My name is Ting (she/her), and I am in the class of 2027, double majoring in Interdisciplinary Arts Management and Psychology. I enjoy writing and performing music as well as directing theatre productions on campus. My favorite way to travel is by staying at cities for long durations to connect with the people and culture, and I am excited to continue hiking, trekking, and exploring the global scape as the journey goes on!

    Why did you join the WIS Program?

    I would love to connect with more people from different backgrounds and cruise on to new adventures! Also, I'm rather interested in sharing Taiwanese culture through creative means such as Chinese Calligraphy (書法).

  • Tamiraa Sanjaajav (she/her)

    Class of 2027 - Computer Science and Government (International Relations track)


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    Languages Spoken: Mongolian, English, German (working proficiency)

    Involvement at Wes: Sustainability Office, University Communications Center, Wesleyan Book club, Tennis club.

    Bio: Hi everyone! My name is Tamiraa Sanjaajav and I use she/her pronouns! I am a rising sophomore majoring in Computer Science and International Relations. I grew up in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. On campus, I am involved with the Sustainability Office and University Communications Center. Outside of school, I love to learn about design and read books. My hobby is learning new things. I am currently learning how to paint using watercolors. One interesting fact about me is that I used to have a giant blood mark on my left arm. I want to be part of the WIS program because I love talking about Mongolian history and culture with people.

    Why did you join the WIS Program?

    I joined the WIS program to engage in talks about culture, diversity, and inclusivity. I hope to foster curiosity and positivity in people's hearts with my presentations on Mongolian history and culture. I also want to learn about different countries and ethnicities!

  • Daphine Kemigisa (she/her)

    Class of 2027 - Chemistry


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    Languages Spoken: Luganda and English

    Involvement at Wes: Track and Field, SUYA, American Chemical Society, Women in Science and the African Student Association.

    Bio: Hello everyone! My name is Daphine and I use she/her pronouns! I am a rising sophomore planning to major in Chemistry on the dual-degree engineering track. On campus I am in involved in Track and Field, SUYA, American Chemical Society, Women in Science and the African Student Association. A fun fact about me is that my favorite show of all time is succession. I want to be part of the WIS program because I am excited to learn about other cultures while also sharing my culture with the Wesleyan community.

    Why did you join the WIS Program?

    I joined this program because it provides a unique platform for me to contribute to the Wesleyan community by serving as a speaker and sharing my experiences, not only to educate others about my country's cultures and languages but also to promote a more inclusive community.

  • Oleksandra Volakova (she/her)

    Class of 2027 - Undecided


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    Languages Spoken: Ukrainian, Russian, English, Japanese

    Involvement at Wes: Events organization, fire arts, comedy and theater, public observations (astronomy), volleyball

    Bio: Hello! I am Oleksandra Volakova (she/her), a freshman at Wesleyan University from Kremenchuk, Ukraine. I am exploring my options for majoring, so I am still undecided. My extracurricular interests range from performing arts (theater, comedy, fire arts) to sports and events organization. I have a devotion to travel from my early childhood -- I was travelling a lot back in Ukraine, and continue this tradition in the US. And, hopefully, when the war is over, I want to continue exploring my own country and encourage other people to see its incredible nature, people, and culture.

    Why did you join the WIS Program?

    My primary goal is to raise awareness about Ukraine. Today, my country is only associated with war, but I want to show another perspective of it: its merits, traditions, development, cuisine, and people. Moreover, I hope to learn more about home countries of other WISP participants.

Goals of WISP

  • Empower international students to educate community members about their country(ies), culture(s), and language(s) through their own perspectives and lived experiences   
  • Contribute to a campus culture that recognizes, embraces, and celebrates international students and their unique identities and stories
  • Foster cross-cultural curiosity, intercultural learning, and global awareness within the Wesleyan and Middletown communities

Speaker Responsibilities

  • Commit to serving as a speaker for 1 full academic year (Fall 2023 and Spring 2024)
  • Give at least one presentation per semester
  • Attend program meetings and monthly events, including cohort socials and professional development sessions
  • Collaborate with other Speakers in the program to plan and deliver presentations
  • Assist with outreach and promotion of WISP events


  • Must be a Wesleyan undergraduate or graduate student
  • Must identify as coming from an international background or have previous global experience(s)
  • Must be passionate about your home country(ies), culture(s), and language(s) and promoting intercultural dialogue and understanding
  • Speakers who fulfill their responsibilities and are interested in continuing in the program are eligible to extend for an additional year upon approval by the OISA Director and Assistant Director of International Student Engagement.


  • Opportunities to engage with Wesleyan and Middletown community members and raise awareness about your country(ies), culture(s), and language(s)
  • Monthly socials with other Speakers to build strong connections within Wesleyan's international community
  • Support from the Presentation Studio and OISA professional staff to practice and improve your communication, presentation, and public speaking skills
  • Professional development, leadership, and networking opportunities

*Program participants will be provided with transportation to community venues, such as local schools, for speaker requests from outside of Wesleyan. 

Applying to Join WISP

The WISP application for the second cohort of Speakers (2024-2025 academic year) will be opened and shared with current international students via email and the Wesleyan International Student E-newsletter (WISE) at the start of the Fall 2024 Semester. 


For questions about WISP, please send an email to oisa@wesleyan.edu with “WISP inquiry” in the subject line.