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Vilnius Marathon Brings Together Different Experiences of Lithuanian Students

Posted on Thursday, October 15th, 2020 at 4:07 pm.

By Emilija Buividavičiūtė, Summer Work Travel Alumni, Lithuania

Emilija enjoying the event

Volunteering is always an exciting and valuable experience, especially when it comes to sports-related events. As Exchange Visitor Program participants, we never say no to any new opportunities. That is why when the U.S. Embassy in Lithuania invited us to volunteer in the Danske Bank Vilnius Marathon, we were very happy to help out and make our contribution as valuable as possible. It was a great opportunity to be part of one of the biggest sports event in the Baltics, to meet new people, and, of course, to have a fun and fulfilling weekend. Read More ›

Categories: Participants, Program Spotlight

Volunteering at the Vilnius Marathon: Good Fun with Good People for a Good Cause

Posted on Thursday, October 1st, 2020 at 4:58 pm.

By Darius Gabrilavicius, Summer Work Travel Alumni, Lithuania

J-1 US Alumni Association Lithuania volunteers at the Vilnius Marathon Individuals wearing black facemasks are members of the alumni association.

Summer Work Travel Alumnus Darius Gabrilavicius reflects on his experience volunteering at the Vilnius Marathon, which was held on September 13, 2020 in Lithuania. Darius volunteered at a fluid station along the race course alongside 43 members of the newly established J-1 US Alumni Association of which he is a founding member. Read More ›

Categories: Participants, Program Spotlight

Bringing the World Home to Missouri

Posted on Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020 at 5:50 pm.

By Robyn Walker, Executive Director, Cenet

Robyn and Cultural Classroom teachers tour Santo Domingo on the metro aerial cable car

Cenet is a designated sponsor of the Exchange Visitor Program brining international students to the United States on Summer Work Travel (SWT), Camp Counselor, Trainee and Intern programs.

Having grown up in nearby southern Illinois, I was Cenet’s first study abroad student (to the sunny island of Malta), and now have the privilege of serving as the organization’s executive director. My cultural exchange experience enriched my life. It helped me to understand the importance of seeing new places, meeting new people, and being exposed to global perspectives. Prior to joining Cenet, I was an educator for 15 years and always took the opportunity to promote cross-cultural learning, exploration and understanding in the classroom. Read More ›

Categories: Participants, Program Spotlight

Discovering the Beauty of Many Cultures

Posted on Thursday, February 20th, 2020 at 3:25 am.

By EVP Physician Joelle Wazen from Lebanon

Joelle’s first live baseball game; the annual Pawsox night at the McCoy stadium is a traditional event in her Radiology program. In this photo fellow residents, fellows, administrative staff, attending physicians and their families enjoying the sun, snacks and a great score for the Pawsox.

I’m from Lebanon. I left home to be part of the Exchange Visitor Program to pursue my specialization in Radiology. So far my extracurricular experience has been very enriching. I’ve had the chance to participate in multiple events, gatherings and activities with my fellow residents and other colleagues at the medical center. Being part of UMass Radiology has given me the chance to experience events such as the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, celebrate Thanksgiving etc… Also I visited multiple museums such as the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago and did not miss to climb the skyline and visit the bean, spent a whole day at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC and then enjoyed a walk by the Potomac River. My classmates and I went to the Art Museum of Worcester with one of our mentors in Radiology. Read More ›

Categories: Participants, Program Spotlight

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

Bridging the ‘Last Three Feet’ Over 26.2 Miles

Posted on Wednesday, December 4th, 2019 at 4:39 pm.

By Christian Caudill, Office of Private Sector Exchange, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

Exchange Visitors hand out Gatorade to NYC Marathon runners in Brooklyn. Credit: Gisela Nilsson, Cultural Care Au Pair

Exchange Visitors hand out Gatorade to NYC Marathon runners in Brooklyn. Credit: Gisela Nilsson, Cultural Care Au Pair

For the fifth year in a row, the U.S. Department of State’s Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) comprised the largest group of volunteers for the TCS New York City Marathon. More than 1,600 volunteers—au pairs, interns, students, research scholars, and designated sponsor organizations and Department of State representatives—provided runners from 135 countries with water, Gatorade, and encouragement at miles 5 and 6 in Brooklyn and miles 18, 19 and 23 in Manhattan. Read More ›

Categories: Participants, Program Spotlight

Global Learning By Design: The Business of Architecture

Posted on Wednesday, October 9th, 2019 at 6:18 pm.

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

Dalia Raad (left) Katelynn Ziegler-Hall (middle), and Shams Qais (right) at Gensler’s Washington, D.C. offices

A long-sought dream became reality for Dalia and Shams in September 2017 as they arrived in Washington, D.C. to begin their internships with Gensler a global design and architecture firm. Read More ›

Categories: Participants, Program Spotlight

Au Pair’s Helping Hands Assist Host Family during Hurricane Harvey

Posted on Wednesday, September 25th, 2019 at 6:10 pm.

By Katrina Vanderhulst, Executive Vice President, Au Pair International


Martin receiving Au Pair of the Year Award at Annual Work Experience
Travel Market and International Au Pair Association Conference (WETM-IAC)

Each year, the International Au Pair Association (IAPA) gives an Au Pair of the Year Award. The 2018 recipient, Martin Toth, is a bright and energetic young man from Hungary who lived with a family in Houston, Texas. Soon after joining his host family, the unthinkable occurred. Martin and his host family were forced to deal with the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey. Read More ›

Categories: Participants, 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

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About G. Kevin Saba

Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange

G. Kevin Saba

G. Kevin Saba serves as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange at the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). In this capacity, he oversees the Exchange Visitor Program, which brings around 300,000 foreign citizens to the United States annually to teach, study, and build skills. He is the Director for the Policy and Program Support Division in ECA’s Office of Private Sector Exchange.

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