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International Resident Assistant (“IRA”) in Mexico (Fellow), Fellowship Job Description for 2024-2025

Summary of Job Description:  The purpose of this one-year stipend fellowship is to promote a healthy living/learning environment for semester students and participants in short-term educational seminars at Augsburg CGEE in Mexico.  In addition, the primary responsibilities of the fellow are to assist study abroad students (mostly coming from the U.S.A.) with medical and emotional issues and to help them develop intercultural and global competencies, as well as to assist in the operation of all educational programs. The IRA will also be expected to produce social media that can help promote these programs and help with administrative tasks.

Length and dates of this stipend fellowship position: *August 15, 2024 – August 21, 2025 (*The starting and ending dates are slightly flexible.)

Stipend & Other Benefits 

This is a one-year academic fellowship that provides:

  • a monthly stipend of US $650 (approximately MXN $11,000 pesos/month), 
  • room, board, health insurance in Mexico (approximately MXN $ 15,000 pesos/month), 
  • airfare to and from the United States,
  • the possibility of deferred student loans, and
  • Educational opportunities, including setting your learning goals related to intercultural and international education and receiving support in accomplishing those goals.  
  • 10 days of vacation (to be taken after the semester ends in December), plus Mexican federal holidays unless impossible due to programming, in which case you can arrange a different day off with your supervisor

Given that this is a fellowship intended to benefit a recent college graduate who is seeking hands-on experience working in international education, these benefits are appropriate within the Mexican context, as the sum of the stipend and benefits.

Submit applications by May 1, 2024: Email your application materials (resume, cover letter, and three professional references) to: Ann Lutterman-Aguilar (lutterma@augsburg.edu), Fatima Mendoza (mendoza@augsburg.edu) and Violeta Jaramillo (jaramill@augsburg.edu). Be sure to write “(Name) IRA Mexico Fellow Position” in the subject heading of your email.


International Resident Assistant (“IRA”) Responsibilities

Please see the summary statement at the top of this page.

Resident Assistant (R.A.) Responsibilities

  • Live in “Casa Augsburg,” the Augsburg CGEE program house in order to provide first response and emergency assistance to semester students and short-term program participants.  This includes contacting the insurance company and taking students to the doctor as necessary.  
  • Given your proximity to students, you will serve as the primary on-call person, and so you will be asked to set up and coordinate the semester-long on-call schedule with the assistance and  final approval of your supervisor.  During the week, you will be expected to be on call during the daytime every weekday.  You will also be on call at least two weekends per month. You will be provided training and initially take a student or two to the doctor with your supervisor or another experienced on-call staff person.  
  • Share students’ dietary needs and preferences and any house maintenance needs that arise with the Office Manager.  Ensure that students submit their Housing & Homestay Form and determine roommate matches for semester students & inform the Office Manager and other staff of rooming arrangements. 
  • Meet with the Office Manager regularly to inform her of any changes regarding meals and whether there will be fewer or additional people at specific meals.
  • Provide student emergency medical information to be carried at all times & distributed to the rest of the program staff.
  • Provide assistance to students and staff with information needed for health insurance claims.
  • Create a healthy living/learning environment in “Casa Augsburg.” This may mean setting and facilitating occasional house meetings or “community meetings” as deemed necessary.
  • Check-in with each student individually after the first weeks of the semester and just over half way through the semester. 
  • Keep track of students’ physical and mental health issues, and inform your supervisor as necessary.
  • Channel students to appropriate physical and mental health services.
  • Assist students with making appointments for physical and mental health care and accompany them to interpret, as appropriate.
  • Assist students in submitting insurance claims forms for medical expenses in Mexico.
  • Help prepare the house for the arrival of new groups by making sure that everything is ready for them, including their mailboxes, napkin rings, rooms, etc.
  • Facilitate house orientations and health & safety orientations for new groups, including the preparation of potential orientation packets with maps and other helpful items.
  • Organize occasional fun weekday and/or weekend events for students.  
  • Together with other staff, set up occasional optional day trips on weekends to places like Mexico City, Teotihuacan, outdoor waterparks, etc., and arrange the drivers and other logistics.
  • Complete other tasks as necessary.

Academic Program Responsibilities

  • Help coordinate and work with students regarding their facilitation of an ongoing (nearly weekly) intercultural exchange with Mexican university students at International House. This is an integral part of the COM 329, INS 492/495, & SWK 261 courses.
  • Assist all professors with educational materials and classroom and guest speaker/excursion set-up related to their classes and communicate with them regarding the weekly Gmail calendars.
  • Communicate regularly with the adjunct and/or visiting professors about their classes, guest speakers, and excursions, and provide logistical support to them. Assist instructors and program coordinators in planning, set-up, operation, and evaluation of the semester programs.
  • Coordinate and oversee the Gmail calendars of educational activities and share calendars with students and staff.
  • Oversee the ongoing confirming, updating, printing, and distribution of weekly program calendars to students, staff, host families, and any others who need them.
  • Provide interpreting support from Spanish to English (and vice versa) in very informal, small group settings, as needed.  (Training and support provided for those interested in learning this skill.)

Administrative Responsibilities 

  • Coordinate and follow-up with the insurance company regarding claims for students and our program.
  • Finalize and distribute the weekly calendars for each program.
  • Perform regular administrative tasks such as checking e-mail, filing, running errands, maintaining computer databases, shelving books in the library, managing WhatsApp groups, and assisting with other projects.
  • Help the Office Manager & Homestay Coordinator & others to organize activities with host families & others, as asked. 
  • Manage a student activities budget and file a monthly finance report, as requested.
  • Coordinate and pay guest speakers, drivers, meals, and entrance fees, as needed.
  • Attend staff meetings.

Marketing Responsibilities      

  • Assist with recruiting students and short-term customized program participants by taking and submitting digital photos with short captions explaining them to help document each of the major components of the program, such as guest speakers and excursions, rural seminars and the seminar in Mexico City, homestays (both rural and urban), travel to other areas of Mexico, etc.  
  • Assist with the creation and maintenance of social media posts in coordination with the Minneapolis and other Mexico faculty/staff members, including TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram.
  • Participate in a cross-site social media team and marketing team, if requested.
  • Interview students, staff, host families, and guest speakers and then write short articles and/or create short videos that promote the programs, as requested.
  • Assist with other projects as necessary.

Assist with Diversity and Intercultural/Global Education and Community-Building

  • Assist the professor of the COM 329 Intercultural Communication & SWK 261 U.S.-Mexican Relations courses in the design, facilitation, and debriefing of the classes, which all students take.  Attend all class sessions and facilitate full and/or small group discussions as needed.  Please note that the International House exchange mentioned elsewhere is an integral part of this course. 
  • Co-coordinate the intercultural exchange with IHouse students as an integral part of the COM 329 & SWK 261 course. 
  • Plan and facilitate or co-facilitate group activities and/or meetings with the students to help build trust among the students and to address issues of concern to the group.  These issues usually include concerns about racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, religious discrimination, etc.)
  • Spend time with students and other program participants to support them as they process their intercultural learning experience. This includes eating meals with students on a regular basis while they’re living in the program house; conducting individual interviews with each student at the beginning and middle of the semester; and holding regular drop-in times for students to chat.
  • Help students find appropriate ways to manage conflicts that emerge within the group. This may mean organizing and/or facilitating or arranging a session on conflict management and helping mediate when necessary.

Connect Students to the Broader Community

  • Help plan and facilitate orientation activities to help students get to know Cuernavaca.
  • Inform students of social, cultural, political, & other events in Cuernavaca and the surrounding area.  It is recommended that the International Resident Assistant organize a bulletin board with updated information about opportunities to go to events and get involved in the local community.

Customized Program (Short-Term Group) Responsibilities

  • Carry out house responsibilities as listed above.
  • Assist the customized program coordinators by preparing the orientation packets for each group prior to arrival, as requested.  This includes a map, health & safety information, an updated and customized Market Basket Survey, and other materials.
  • Meet with the leader of each program to find out what they will need from you before, during and after the program.

 Qualifications/Requirements    

  • Demonstrated commitment to the mission and goals of Augsburg CGEE, including our educational philosophy and our commitment to intercultural and global education, social justice and anti-oppression work.
  • Experience in international and multicultural settings, as well as deep knowledge of intercultural issues, including intercultural communication and conflict styles, racism and discrimination in general, gender, socio-economic class, human sexuality, ability, and group dynamics. Experience in facilitating group work on anti-racism and power and privilege preferred. BSW graduates are encouraged to apply.
  • Initiative, flexibility, leadership, and strong intercultural and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Basic computer and organizational skills, as well as attention to detail.
  • Administrative experience and willingness to assist with administrative tasks.
  • Strong ability to multitask.
  • Experience with social media is preferred.
  • Resident advisor experience or equivalent community-based living experience preferred.
  • Strong knowledge of both Spanish and English. Strong speaking ability in both English and Spanish is necessary. Fluency is preferred, along with experience with at least basic interpreting from Spanish-English and vice versa.
  • Experience in group facilitation, particularly of intercultural and/or diversity issues, preferred.
  • Experience living in both the United States and Mexico is preferred.
  • Preference given to alumni of Augsburg CGEE semester programs or similar study abroad programs in Latin America, with particular emphasis on the Social Work in Latin America program.

Application Instructions

Applicants MUST submit the following documents:

  • Resume
  • A Cover Letter
  • Three Professional References*

*When listing reference information, please use professional references (including one past or present supervisor).

Submit applications by May 1, 2024: Email your application materials (resume, cover letter, and three professional references) to: Ann Lutterman-Aguilar (lutterma@augsburg.edu), Fatima Mendoza (mendoza@augsburg.edu) and Violeta Jaramillo (jaramill@augsburg.edu). Be sure to write “(Name) IRA Mexico Fellow Position” in the subject heading of your email.  

Augsburg University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, gender, age, national origin, familial status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status or public assistance status.


More About Us

About Augsburg University:  Augsburg University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and nine graduate degrees to more than 3,500 students of diverse backgrounds. The trademark of an Augsburg education is its emphasis on direct, personal experience. Guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, Augsburg educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders.

About Augsburg CGEE:  Founded in 1982, the mission of the Center for Global Education and Experience (CGEE) at Augsburg University is to “provide cross-cultural educational opportunities in order to foster critical analysis of local and global conditions so that personal and systemic change occurs, leading to a more just and sustainable world.” The Cuernavaca, Mexico site offers three semester-long study abroad programs: 

  • Communication and Media Studies: Migration and Social Change in Mexico (Fall)
  • Liberal Arts, Migration and Social Change (Fall and Spring)
  • Social Work in a Latin American Context (Spring)

In addition, we offer four 3-week summer sessions focusing on Spanish language and social change, as well as a summer program for pre-med and other health care students. We also facilitate numerous short-term programs (1-2 weeks) throughout the year.  See www.augsburg.edu/global/ for more information about program and course offerings.