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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.

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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

Building a Dream: Architecture Student Gains International Experience

Posted on Wednesday, June 6th, 2018 at 2:39 pm.

By Pablo Ambrossi, Intern alumnus from Madrid, Spain
A version of this story was original published on CIEE blog

Pablo Ambrossi at the Flat Iron construction site, Brickell neighborhood, Miami

My name is Pablo Ambrossi and I was born and raised in Madrid, Spain. I am a 22-year-old student set to graduate in 2019 at the School of Architecture in Madrid, the ETSAM. Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to continue my father´s legacy and become an architect. When I graduate, I plan to obtain some international experience working abroad before eventually returning to Madrid to work alongside my father. Read More ›

Categories: Participants, Program Spotlight

Explore: Yosemite National Park Adventure

Posted on Monday, May 7th, 2018 at 5:41 pm.

By Tamires Marques, J-1 Intern from Brazil

Tamires and friend loving lower Yosemite Falls

I love when dreams come true. And knowing the Yosemite National Park was one of them!

Yosemite is one of the most paradisiacal places in the world! If you do a quick search on the most beautiful places to see in California, this park is sure to be at the top of the list. And for me, it was “desire at first sight!” Those who know me well know that I am passionate about mountains, animals, green areas, trails and adventures. And nature did very well in that region, making Yosemite definitely my favorite place in California! Read More ›

Categories: Program Spotlight

Host Mom and Au Pair Run Side-By-Side in TCS New York City Marathon

Posted on Thursday, April 19th, 2018 at 1:36 pm.

By Lynette Evans-Tiernan, Communications Manager for Exchange Visitor Program

Soon after meeting, host mom Candice asked her au pair Laura if she would join her in running the New York City Marathon. After months of training and fundraising, they traveled from Verona, Wisconsin to New York City and completed the race. Read More ›

Categories: Program Spotlight

Better To See Something Once, Than Hear About it a Thousand Times

Posted on Thursday, April 5th, 2018 at 4:02 pm.

By Branislav Zvada, J-1 Summer Work and Travel Alumni from Slovakia

Watch a video that Branislav’s made about his SWT experience.

Visiting USA has been a dream of mine since childhood. As I’m in my final year of university, I realized that this was my last chance to go to USA through the Summer Work and Travel program. I didn’t hesitate and together with three other friends, I decided to give it a chance and travel. Truthfully, I still can’t believe that I really was in the USA, because the time went by so fast and it felt just like a few days, not a few months. It definitely was the best summer of our lives!
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Categories: Program Spotlight

From Exchange Visitor to Business Owner

Posted on Thursday, March 29th, 2018 at 8:36 pm.

By Kristin Chasan, Communications Coordinator, Cultural Homestay International (CHI)
A version of this story is published on CHI’s blog

Darya poses with some of her beautiful custom pillows that were inspired by her time in the United States as a J-1 participant.

In 2010, Darya Modestova was just 19 years old.  She had just graduated from high school, and was sweating through a hot summer in her hometown of Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan.  She had no work experience, but she was ambitious and wanted to do something that would help her succeed in life.  So, she created a resume and posted it online.  Through sheer guile, she earned herself three interviews, and was eventually hired by Resource Interexchange Consulting (RIC) as their Operations Manager.  This moment was a turning point in her life, because it was at RIC where she learned about the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program.

She knew that the chance to live and work in America was something she couldn’t pass up, so the very next summer Darya was on a plane to Boston for a brand new experience that would forever change her.  Darya spent the summer of 2011 living and working in Cape Cod, Massachusetts as part of her Summer Work and Travel program.  She had a great summer, and left with a number of valuable new skills.  She learned how to treat others in a professional setting, how to work hard, and how to help a business succeed.  She also gained confidence that she could succeed when she put her mind to something.  To say this changed her life would be an understatement. Read More ›

Categories: Program Spotlight

ExEgypt: How One J-1 Alumnus Is Making Change In His Community

Posted on Monday, March 19th, 2018 at 8:50 pm.

By Alaa Mahmoud, J-1 Summer Work Travel Alumnus
A version of this story was originally published on CIEE blog

Hello everyone! I’m Alaa Mahmoud from Egypt. I’m currently enrolled as a fourth year medical student in Suez Canal University, Egypt. In 2006, I participated in the J-1 Summer Work Travel program and attended the Council on International Educational Exchange’s (CIEE) Civic Leadership Summit 2016 (CLS16). These experiences influenced me as a person and made me a change maker.

Children gathering around their tutors during different sessions during the children’s green camp. Left: English conversation skills. | Right: First aid session.

After completing my J-1 program and participating in CLS16 where I had the privilege to meet 62 young leaders from all around the world, I was inspired to launch an organization concerned with environmental and public health issues. While attending the summit, I gained skills that gave me the motivation to create ExEgypt (Exchanging & Empowering Global Youth Potentials & Talents), an initiative involving young children to help create young leaders. Read More ›

Categories: Program Spotlight

Ensuring the Safety and Security of ECA Exchange Participants

Posted on Friday, March 9th, 2018 at 8:58 pm.

By Lynette Evans-Tiernan, Communications Manager for the J-Visa Exchange Visitor Program

At the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, we have a steadfast and enduring commitment to safety and security. This commitment extends not only to U.S. citizens and diplomats overseas, but also to the thousands of exchange visitors from every sector of society who participate in educational and cultural exchange programs abroad and here in the United States.

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Categories: Program Spotlight

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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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