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Women in STEM

Posted on Wednesday, March 1st, 2023 at 8:50 pm.

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.

Molecular Biology

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.

Read More ›

Categories: J-1 Visa, Participants, Program Spotlight

Friendship for a Lifetime

Posted on Wednesday, September 28th, 2022 at 11:55 am.

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 ›

Categories: J-1 Visa, Participants, Program Spotlight

Slava Ukraini

Posted on Thursday, August 25th, 2022 at 2:48 pm.

At a time when it is unsafe for Ukrainian youth to return home due to the Russian government’s unprovoked war, U.S. summer Camps Kenwood & Evergreen in coordination with the American Camp Association and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs have helped provide a degree of normalcy for BridgeUSA and Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) students in the United States. Check out the story of these Ukrainian youth.

Categories: J-1 Visa, Participants, Program Spotlight, Videos

Global Learning By Design: A New Family To Lean On

Posted on Wednesday, January 8th, 2020 at 5:02 pm.

By Katelynn Ziegler-Hall, Cultural Vistas
A version of this story was original published on Cultural Vistas Blog

Dalia and Shams’ U.S. experience was a family affair. Outside the office, their Gensler studio colleagues, host family, and friends came together for a traditional Iraqi dinner in October.

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 ›

Categories: J-1 Visa, Participants, Program Spotlight

Celebrating International Education Week – Cooking as a Second Language

Posted on Thursday, December 12th, 2019 at 8:05 pm.

By Marjia Panic, Teacher Exchange Participant from Serbia

“Now everybody – wash your hands! Let’s do this! I’m hungry!” Marjia Panic teaches participants how to prepare a traditional Serbian meal at an International Education Week event.

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 ›

Categories: J-1 Visa, Participants, Program Spotlight

How the Global Pathfinder Summit Changed my Outlook on Leadership

Posted on Wednesday, June 26th, 2019 at 5:00 am.

By Lauren Rosegreen, Camp Counselor Alumnae from the United Kingdom

Lauren Rosegreen and Roisin Quinn at Global Pathfinder Summit

Lauren Rosegreen and Roisin Quinn at Global Pathfinder Summit in Charlottesville, VA (May 20-24, 2019)

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.

Read More ›

Categories: J-1 Visa, Program Spotlight

Becoming a Civically Engaged Global Citizen

Posted on Wednesday, June 5th, 2019 at 6:07 pm.

By Tebogo Serepong, Trainee from South Africa

Left: Tebogo getting ready for the Global Pathfinder Summit | Right: Tebogo chatting with other leaders before morning session commences.

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 ›

Categories: J-1 Visa, Participants

Sparking Innovation: U.S.-Portugal Pilot Exchange Program Builds Intercultural Understanding

Posted on Friday, March 1st, 2019 at 6:54 pm.

About the Author: Lynette Evans-Tiernan serves as a Public Affairs Officer for the Exchange Visitor Program at the U.S. Department of State.

Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce and Ambassador Domingos Fezas Vital of the Embassy of Portugal sign MOU.

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 ›

Categories: J-1 Visa, Program Spotlight

State Department Publishes New Proposed Rule Notice for SWT

Posted on Thursday, January 12th, 2017 at 10:48 pm.

By Nathan Arnold, Director of Press Relations for Educational and Cultural Affairs

The Federal Register for January 12, 2007

The Federal Register for January 12, 2007

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

Making Peace One Exchange at a Time

Posted on Tuesday, September 20th, 2016 at 9:07 pm.

By Marcellin Niset, J-1 Secondary School Student from Belgium
This story was originally featured on Rotary Voices

participant standing in front of sign saying Welcome to Alaska

Belgian Exchange Student Marcellin Niset in Alaska

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 ›

Categories: J-1 Visa, Participants, Program Spotlight

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About Rebecca Pasini

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange

Rebecca Pasini

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.