During International Week of Deaf People and International Day of Sign Languages, we would like to highlight three Deaf BridgeUSA exchange visitors who are studying at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. Gallaudet is a world renowned institution of higher learning which serves deaf and hard of hearing people to become the university of first choice for the most qualified, diverse group of deaf and hard of hearing students in the world, in addition to hearing students pursuing careers related to deaf and hard of hearing people. Its Office of International Affairs selects students who will create a “Global Gallaudet” that positively impacts the quality of life for the full spectrum of Deaf identities worldwide.
Today, we are highlighting community stakeholders and exchange visitors from around the world who came together to celebrate Exchange Day 2023. For nine years, the exchange community has celebrated Exchange Day annually on the first Monday of August and it has grown to become a worldwide celebration of the power and breadth of cultural and academic international exchange. On Exchange Day, participants, alumni, and their communities are invited to take part in service projects, reflect on the ways in which exchange programs have impacted their lives, and to continue to promote cross-cultural understanding. Check out how Exchange Day 2023 was celebrated around the United States and round the world.
Written by: Haldis Toppen, Director of Communications, Greenheart International
In 2014, the Alliance set up a training for three sponsors in the Midwest – Cenet, Greenheart International and Spirit Cultural Exchange. It was a few years after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton implemented major changes to the BridgeUSA Summer Work Travel program, and the Alliance thought it would be a beneficial to take stock of these changes and for these three organizations to share some best practices they had learned and developed. It was during this training that the idea of Exchange Day (formerly J Day) was created.
“I wanted to participate in the CAEP program because it has allowed me to chase my dream of breaking into the American thoroughbred industry, renowned for producing the world’s best racehorses through three centuries of materialist selection,” shared Ian.
“Being granted a student visa, the internship has provided both theory and practical aspects that have been the stepping stone needed to develop a career in the thoroughbred industry. This has been beneficial as one gains hands-on experience raising thoroughbreds, learning about their make-up, and how to manage them.
By: Marisa Lonic
Italo DeLucca, a 26-year-old Brazilian au pair, is truly the epitome of making the most of his au pair experience. When he arrived in the U.S. on January 6, 2022, he was excited to improve his English, experience life in the U.S., and take care of his host children. It felt like a dream!
Shortly after, he started to experience homesickness and culture shock, which is not uncommon for au pairs to face during their time abroad. Coming from a tropical climate to being in freezing temperatures in New York City’s winter was a big shift. Layer in Italo’s shyness and slow start to making friends plus missing his home, he wasn’t sure he’d make it the whole year.
Greenheart Exchange works with hundreds of globally-minded U.S. businesses who hire international interns/trainees through our Career Advancement Program (CAP). This Department of State-designated program provides career enhancing and cultural exchange experiences for bright, energetic international students, recent graduates, or professionals and allows U.S. businesses to tap into diverse skills and perspectives while increasing their visibility in today’s global marketplace.
We recently interviewed Robert Harper, Founder and CEO of IVD Solutions, who currently hosts George Temeng, a recent Masters in Biological Sciences graduate from the UK. IVDS is composed of skilled engineers and scientists who develop innovative diagnostic tools and technology. IVDS’s mission is to discover scientific solutions that improve the quality of life through timely, accessible, actionable diagnostic information. Here’s what Mr. Harper had to say about his business and hiring a CAP intern/trainee with Greenheart.
The Biden Administration’s effort to provide a simplified and seamless customer experience for the public took a great step forward today when the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), published an Interim Final Rule in the Federal Register that permits designated sponsors for the Exchange Visitor Program to digitally sign and electronically transmit the Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status (J-Nonimmigrant) (Form DS-2019). The new rule is effective as of April 27, 2023. “We’re thrilled that sponsors can now digitally sign and electronically transmit the DS-2019 form,” said Director for the Office of Private Sector Exchange Designation, Karen Ward. “The new regulation will reduce costs, improve efficiencies for exchange program sponsors, and streamline Department of State exchange visitor visa processing.”
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May 2023 marks the 10th anniversary of the Exchange Visitor Program’s Office of Private Sector Exchange Program Administration (OPA)
The J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program has undergone many changes since its creation through the Fulbright-Hays Act in September 1961. At its core, the Exchange Visitor Program seeks to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange. All foreign nationals that participate in the Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ (ECA) inbound exchange programs travel on J-1 exchange visitor visas. Over 90% of the approximately 300,000 annual J-1 exchange visitors participate in private sector programming spanning the J-1 visa categories of: Au Pair, Camp Counselor, College and University Student, Government Visitor, International Visitor, Intern, Physician, Professor, Research Scholar, Secondary School Student, Short-Term Scholar, Specialist, Summer Work Travel, Teacher, and Trainee. Each year, ECA programs provide opportunities for visitors from roughly 200 countries and territories to experience U.S. culture and engage with Americans with the goal of increasing mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and other countries.
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By: Abigail Graszl of InterExchange
From researching cell cytotoxicity in a molecular biology lab to having technical discussions with electrical engineers, Career Training USA interns and trainees are completing amazing programs in STEM (that’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics)!
InterExchange is a proud partner of the BridgeUSA Early Career STEM Research Initiative, and these programs strengthen international connections and contribute to the flow of ideas across continents. We recently caught up with some of our female participants to see how their time in the U.S. helped further their careers in these traditionally male-dominated fields.
Eva K. from Germany spent six months expanding her skills in molecular biology at Neurona Therapeutics in San Francisco, CA.
Eva had the opportunity to bond with colleagues in San Francsico
Image courtesy of Eva K.
There is a Nigerian proverb that says, “The day on which one starts out is not the time to start one’s preparations,” but in the case of BridgeUSA exchange visitors Daniel Enebe and Samuel Eze, the day they met they unknowingly set their international exchange plans in motion. Read More ›
|About Rebecca Pasini|
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange
Rebecca A. Pasini joined the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchanges in July 2023. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister - Counselor, Ms. Pasini has been an American diplomat since 1997.
Ms. Pasini previously served as the Director of Public and Congressional Affairs in the Bureau of Consular Affairs from 2021-2023. Other Washington assignments have included positions in the Bureau of Consular Affairs, the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, the Office of Foreign Missions, and as a liaison to the Department of Homeland Security. She has also completed multiple overseas tours, including as Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs in Islamabad, Pakistan, and as the Consular Chief in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Belfast, Northern Ireland. Other tours included Mexico City and Kuwait.
A Maryland native, Ms. Pasini has a Ph.D. in Political Science from Indiana University, a master’s degree in National Security and Resource Strategy from the Eisenhower School, National Defense University, and an undergraduate degree from Mary Washington College.
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