June 29, 2022

Connecting Current and Future Hoyas: 2022 GAAP Weekend Welcomes Prospective Students from Around the World

During the spring 2022 semester, the Georgetown Admissions Ambassador Program (GAAP) welcomed Class of 2026 prospective students from the United States and abroad for the first GAAP weekend since 2019.

GAAP ambassadors greet students with signs at the front gates of Georgetown
GAAP ambassadors greet students with signs at the front gates of Georgetown

The Georgetown Admissions Ambassador Program is a student-run organization dedicated to helping prospective and accepted students discover Georgetown. The GAAP weekend takes place every spring, providing prospective students with an immersive Georgetown experience on the Hilltop. 

After three years of the COVID-19 pandemic and two years of canceled GAAP weekends, the GAAP board and volunteers were eager and excited to create the perfect Hoya experience for students and parents in 2022. The GAAP weekend on March 18-19, part of the early action admissions cycle, was the first of three waves of celebrations, followed by the GAAP weekends of the regular decision cycle.

Every Hoya Together: Connecting Students on Campus

The GAAP weekend marks the first major campus experience for accepted students following admission. Many student volunteers are inspired to join GAAP to give back to the Georgetown community because they attended the GAAP weekend as prospective students. Students often gain a better understanding of the values, academics, campus activities, and traditions at Georgetown, solidifying their decisions to commit to the school.

“I joined GAAP because I personally was inspired by how Georgetown students spontaneously organized the events to welcome new Hoyas,” recalled Liam Schradie (SFS’25), international chair at GAAP.

The GAAP board seeks to organize events that present Georgetown holistically. These events include academic panels, lectures, and a Georgetown neighborhood tour.

“We seek to bring a thorough introduction to life at Georgetown,” said Kirk Zieser (SFS’22), president of GAAP. 

We collaborate with dozens of departments and offices to create opportunities for students to engage with campus ministry, faculty, and student leaders.

Hosting the GAAP weekend in 2022 brought new challenges in terms of outreach. The GAAP board adapted by introducing virtual outreach in addition to in-person connections. “With virtual outreach, we reached a wide network of students and hosted a few school-specific academic and student-life panels,” shared Zieser.

The GAAP student ambassadors come from a wide range of cultures and social backgrounds. GAAP also collaborates with the Center for Multicultural Equity and Access, which hosts Hoya Saxa Weekend. Hoya Saxa Weekend brings underrepresented prospective students of color to campus to meet current students and ask important questions before committing to Georgetown. GAAP and Hoya Saxa Weekend work closely to coordinate programming and ensure all prospective students have multiple opportunities to learn about Georgetown before making a university decision.

Adrian Ali-Caccamo (SFS’24), a student ambassador, thinks Hoya Saxa Weekend is crucial for helping to diversify the university’s student body.

“I hope it continues to expand as a tool for attracting smart, talented high schoolers who will certainly contribute positively to the Georgetown community.”

A GAAP ambassador sits on the Healy lawn with a group of prospective students
A GAAP ambassador sits on the Healy lawn with a group of prospective students

Every Hoya Everywhere: Building a Global Network

Working closely with the Undergraduate Admissions Office, GAAP helps prospective students better understand Georgetown by answering questions about life on the Hilltop. This is particularly helpful for international students who are unable to travel to Georgetown.

Not only does GAAP have student ambassadors for every U.S. state, it also has numerous international student ambassadors that represent their home countries. All GAAP members volunteer to answer questions from prospective and accepted students who hail from across the globe. As a well-regarded school that attracts international talent, GAAP representation from countries such as Peru, Myanmar, Kazakhstan, and China is a delight for many international students.

“Speaking with the international chair at coffee chat gave me a sense of the vibrant globalism at Georgetown; this inspired me to join GAAP in hope of helping more students from China,” said Xinran Li (SFS’25), international chair for the China region.

 I feel very glad every time a student I speak with leaves with more knowledge about Georgetown life and U.S. culture.

International GAAP student ambassadors who have gone through a largely similar process can provide a firsthand perspective about the challenges of adapting to a new college environment, both academically and culturally.

“It was a wholesome experience when students reached back and told you coming to Georgetown is the right decision,” said Schradie, international chair for the France region.

Reimagining the GAAP Tradition

Not only will Georgetown be prepared to welcome new students in the 2022-2023 academic year, the GAAP will also welcome a new slate of board members in fall 2022. 

What’s unchanged is the mission to continue being a window into Georgetown and welcoming more new student members from current and future Hoyas. The student organization’s future is bright, according to Zieser.

“I have full confidence that GAAP will not only get back on its feet in an in-person setting, but also take off and be running.”