Austrian Youth Arrive for Three-Week U.S. Leadership Training Tour

WASHINGTON – Cultural Vistas is proud to organize a three-week, four-city U.S. study tour, beginning July 9, as part of the U.S. Embassy in Vienna’s Generation Next Youth Leadership Initiative (GNYLI).

The program will provide 20 young Austrian university students, ranging in age from 19 to 28, the opportunity to examine the dynamic processes of integration while learning the principles of civic education, respect for diversity, and community engagement through intensive leadership training, site visits, and volunteer opportunities.

This U.S. Department of State-sponsored exchange initiative is funded through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Embassy in Vienna and administered by Cultural Vistas. As the second phase of the GNYLI program, the study tour will build upon the leadership workshop that Cultural Vistas organized in Vienna in March and prepare these young leaders to take action on a range of community-focused initiatives at home.

The tour will include site visits, shadowing, seminars, and service activities with organizations and institutions in four communities across the United States. The itinerary has been designed to showcase the diversity of American culture and foster better understanding of community engagement, civic participation, and the integration of newcomers as practiced in the United States.

Starting in Baltimore, the participants will engage in a weeklong ‘leadership boot camp’ led by Goucher College’s Community-Based Learning Program. The participants will then travel to Des Moines, Iowa and San Diego, California before returning to Washington, D.C.

While in Washington, D.C., the young leaders will participate in job shadowing activities with organizations that engage in community-building activities, including corporate social responsibility, international political collaboration, female and youth empowerment, and refugee integration and resettlement services.

Highlights of the study tour include: visiting the Islamic Society of Baltimore, volunteering with Catholic Charities, touring the U.S.-Mexico border, engaging with participants of the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program, and meeting with officials from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Upon returning home, participants will apply what they have learned and begin implementing educational and service projects addressing issues of civic, economic, and linguistic integration and participation of immigrants and refugees in their universities and communities.

The 2017 program will culminate in November as all 20 participants reconvene in Vienna to share project outcomes and lessons learned.

2017 Generation Next Youth Leadership Initiative

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