World Learning's youth programs administer exchanges to foster greater understanding and respect between the youth of the United States and other countries worldwide. Projects focus on specific themes, ranging from civic participation and volunteerism to leadership development through sports and activism. Though primarily designed for students, some programs also enable high school teachers, community leaders, and staff of non-governmental organizations to participate as well. In collaboration with the SIT Graduate Institute, World Learning's institute of higher education, our International Development and Exchange Programs division has created an effective model that helps participants to gain a stronger sense of civic responsibility; establish relationships with others of different ethnic, religious, and national groups; and develop the skills and knowledge to transform their communities and countries.
World Learning's youth programs use cross-cultural and experiential education pedagogy to design programs that are:
• Highly interactive, dynamic, interesting, hands-on and action oriented;
• Discussion based, with ample opportunity for students' voices to be heard;
• Sensitive to the group's English abilities;
• Mindful and inclusive of cultural, political, and ethnic identities of the group;
• Appropriately paced for the age group; including length and number of activities; and
• Safe, healthy, fun, relevant and empowering.