6 Ways Alumni Can Give Back and Pay it Forward

Many people, like myself, return from a trip or program abroad and feel a deep sense of gratitude for the experience they just had. We find ourselves wanting to give back or pay it forward, but don’t always know where our energy would be best spent.

In order to help direct those energies, I have drafted a list of six ways you can stay engaged with Cultural Vistas at any point in your career. If I missed anything or if you have other ideas on how you’d like to contribute to our mission, be sure to leave a comment below—I’d love to hear from you.

There are many ways to stay engaged and show Cultural Vistas some love as alumni. Photo credit Eunsol Lee

1. Submit a Video Testimonial About Your Experience

Hearing about your experience and its impact is why we love our jobs. It’s also what keeps the programs funded. Programs with impact lead to more programs with more impact.

Help us tell your story by submitting a video about your experience. Like Fredy in the video below, we’ll send you some questions and simple filming tips. You can use your smart phone, webcam, or whatever camera you have handy.

Email if you’re interested in submitting a video.

2. Participate in a Q&A Alumni Spotlight Blog Interview

If you couldn’t tell from our video testimonials, we love to hear and share alumni stories. Whether you’re camera shy or not, or want your story featured in both mediums, we’d love to spotlight you on our Cultural Vistas Blog. Simply complete a Q&A survey with 5-10 photos. Who knows, maybe your story will end up as part of one of our campaigns (like this one: Our Voices. Your Tomorrow.).

Want to see some examples? Check out our full list of Alumni Spotlight blog posts.

3. Leave a Review on

People value what others have to say. We’ve all used customer review sites like Yelp to make a decision on a restaurant or hotel. Now is becoming the Yelp of the international experiential learning community.

While not all of our programs are listed, we do have eight programs that can be rated: IAESTE, Cultural Vistas Fellowship, the Berlin Startup Program for Young Entrepreneurs, and internship programs in Germany, Argentina, and Spain. If you participated in any of these programs, please head on over and leave us a review. Our staff and future applicants will be thankful for it.

If you leave a review soon, you can participate in the Go Overseas Again Contest and will be entered to win a Free Travel Program and a $1,000 Flight Voucher. Who doesn’t love free money and free travel? We do.

4. Spread the Word through Social Media

The more people that know about us, the more that will pursue life-changing opportunities abroad.

By following our social media accounts, re-tweeting our tweets, and sharing our posts, you’ll help us reach new audiences and achieve our mission: to enrich minds, advance global skills, build careers, and connect lives through international exchange. 

Go ahead, help us out with just a few clicks of the mouse. It doesn’t get easier than this:

5. Connect with and/or Mentor Younger Alumni

We all remember what it’s like to return from your time abroad. It can be exciting to return home and sad to leave new friends. You just met so many kind and interesting people but now you have to dive back into career mode. That part can be scary.

By letting our us know that you’re interested in supporting younger alumni, we can connect you with alumni when the time is right. This can be as simple as having a couple conversations over the phone or meeting for coffee. Some people are returning from a year in Germany or Russia and are in need of making professional connections and navigating the job market. Maybe you can be that helpful link?

Let us know you’re interested by emailing

6. Donate to Cultural Vistas and Help Give Someone the Opportunity to Go Abroad

If international exchange has made a difference in your life, make a charitable gift to Cultural Vistas today. Whether you’re donating $10, $25, or $100, your gift expands opportunities and equips students, emerging leaders, and professionals with the best possible set of global problem-solving skills—the ones that come with international experience.

Want to find out more? Read about five remarkable alumni who show the power of exchange and citizen diplomacy in driving meaningful social progress. I promise you’ll be impressed.



If you are an alum of a program administered by Cultural Vistas and are interested in any of the opportunities above, please post in the comments below or email