By Katelynn Ziegler-Hall, Cultural Vistas
A version of this story was original published on Cultural Vistas Blog
In September 2017, Dalia and Sham began their semester long internships with Gensler, a global design and architecture firm in Washington D.C. This experience not only laid a strong foundation for their future career success, but also allowed them to forge lifelong friendships in their American host community. Read More ›
By Marjia Panic, Teacher Exchange Participant from Serbia
My name is Marija Panic, and I am a Special Education Teacher from Serbia. Currently, I’m participating in Greenheart Exchange’s Teach USA program, and am working at Harvard Elementary School of Excellence. Read More ›
By Lauren Rosegreen, Camp Counselor Alumnae from the United Kingdom
I first discovered the Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) when I applied through the Smaller Earth Camp Leaders program to work at a summer camp in America. Cultural Homestay International (CHI) was my sponsor for my first ever cultural exchange experience, as I went to work as a dance counsellor at Camp Alleghany in West Virginia. Fast-forward three years, and I found myself applying for another EVP to work-abroad as a lifeguard at NJY Teen Camp, Pennsylvania. From enhanced career opportunities to life-long friendships and unforgettable memories, both experiences changed my life. So it was no surprise that when I heard about the opportunity for past EVP participants to apply to become international delegates at the Global Pathfinder Summit(GPS), I jumped at the chance.
By Tebogo Serepong, Trainee from South Africa
When I left South Africa to begin my cultural exchange program in the United States, not only did I get a new physical address, I figuratively also acquired an address which has endearingly placed me outside of my comfort zone. I have made new friends and colleagues and linked up with some old ones, all while discovering and becoming a distinct version of myself. Personal growth has been coupled with tremendous professional development as my career as a Chartered Accountant keeps evolving and being constructively challenged through experience first obtained in California and now Washington, D.C. Read More ›
About the Author: Lynette Evans-Tiernan serves as a Public Affairs Officer for the Exchange Visitor Program at the U.S. Department of State.
On February 11, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce and Ambassador Domingos Fezas Vital of the Embassy of Portugal convened in the State Department’s Treaty Room to sign a Memorandum of Understanding. The MOU will increase intercultural learning and provide structured and guided training for American and Portuguese emerging leaders interested in learning about innovation and organizational growth and development. Read More ›
By Nathan Arnold, Director of Press Relations for Educational and Cultural Affairs
Today, we published a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the Summer Work Travel Program” to the Federal Register. Through February 27, 2017, the State Department will be taking comments on proposed changes to the regulation that governs the J-1 Summer Work Travel Program. Read More ›
Categories: J-1 Visa
By Marcellin Niset, J-1 Secondary School Student from Belgium
This story was originally featured on Rotary Voices
The Italian-American author and actress Vanna Bonta wrote, “There’s no hospitality like understanding.” That quote stuck with me as a Rotary Youth Exchange student to Alaska in 2015-16. I arrived in Alaska, a wilderness filled with beauty and love, determined to make my exchange purposeful and beneficial for myself, my host community, and the world.
An exchange is not only about a student going abroad, it is about all the people that make this exchange possible, and the ones that are impacted, directly and indirectly. Read More ›
The State Department is serious about relationship building with our exchange participants. That’s why we support alumni networks around the world. Recently, many of our embassies have increased efforts to engage participants from J-1 privately-funded jexchanges, so that the investment participants have made in their futures can be leveraged through association with other participants. We are excited to include these participants in our long-term alumni networks and outreach, and have seen much interest from participants to stay in touch with our embassies overseas.
Read More ›
“International exchanges – especially those for young people taking the first steps of their professional lives – are strong and life changing experiences. It’s important to keep the international connections you make during an exchange alive because they have a powerful impact on your life, as well as others. Let’s face it, at the heart of it, international exchanges are about the relationships you make and maintain.”
|About Nicole Elkon|
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange
Nicole Elkon joined the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange in September 2021. Until June 2021, Ms. Elkon was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Human Rights First, an independent advocacy organization focused on human rights and the rule of law. Prior to her position as COO, Ms. Elkon was a Senior Advisor at Results for America (RFA), a non-profit organization focused on advancing data-driven, evidence based public policy at all levels of government. She also served as Chief of Staff to the Assistant Secretary of ECA and was Director of the Office of Public Private Partnerships at ECA working to leverage strategic partnerships to enhance Administration foreign policy priorities.Read More
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