Because we live in a more difficult world, international understanding - direct knowledge and an authentic understanding of different countries and cultures – will be vital to our ability to successfully meet the many challenges ahead.
Every year, nearly 6,000 individuals around the world receive this direct knowledge through our exchange programs and special initiatives. We believe these opportunities broaden the worldview of our participants in ways they never forget, and are an essential step in creating a more just and peaceful world.
This kind of inspired learning takes place in many different forms and settings in our work. It is top of mind when we host a series of educational activities and events every November to commemorate International Education Week (IEW).
In 2015, we brought over 30 J-1 exchange participants and alumni, representing 12 countries from Italy to Indonesia, into six public elementary and middle schools in New York, New Hampshire, and Washington, D.C. to lead presentations about their home cultures.
"Despite the fact that the students were very young they did their research and knew a lot about my country," said Zineb Slam, a J-1 trainee from Morocco. "I have always thought that children in the USA only knew about their culture and were not that opened to the world, but I was wrong.”