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Welcome Message from Carol Jenkins
For more than 90 years, World Learning has equipped individuals and institutions to address the world’s most pressing problems. We believe that, working together with our partners, we can change this world for the better.
On my travels, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with many of those who have joined us in this mission. In Baghdad, we’ve trained more than 2,300 Iraqi youth who are already giving back at home. In London, our partners in the TAAP Initiative strongly believe that we are all responsible to practice inclusion. And in Vermont, our Experiment in International Living and School for International Training participants prove every day that they have the tools and the determination to change the world.
Please join us in our pursuit of a more peaceful and just world.
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Ukrainian Journalist Turns to Small-Scale Diplomacy to Enact Big Change
“There are no Ukrainians here,” Mykola Vorobiov laments when talking about about the atmosphere in Washington, DC. Now, in a critical time for his country, Vorobiov sees this as a matter of national security, rather than what would otherwise be a casual nuisance.
As the senior editor for Ukraine’s “Euro-patrol” investigative bureau, Vorobiov has reported from his embattled nation long before the start of the unrest in 2013. He was present during the Euromaidan protests, and spent two months in eastern Ukraine covering the frontlines in fall 2014. Russian media portrayed him as a CIA agent and accused him and two friends of organizing the revolution in Kiev.
Vorobiov has been in Washington, D.C., since January on a mission to bolster relations between the United States and Ukraine, which he sees as a critical task to ensure the safety of his own people and the future of his country. “Our embassy is not active enough,” he asserted. “It could have done more for our country.”
“Since I am nearly the only person here from Ukraine,” Vorobiov, said, barely kidding. “I can do diplomacy, I can do policy, I can do journalism. I am trying to do as much as I can.”
In the past few months, Vorobiov has appeared on C-SPAN and in conference rooms across the capital to brief whomever will listen – at George Washington University, the Heritage Foundation, World Learning – on on-the-ground developments in Ukraine he claims the western media are failing to report.
The so-called Minsk-II ceasefire agreement – which was signed on February 12 in Belarus in an attempt to cease hostilities in eastern Ukraine – has proven to be a failure, as separatist rebels forced Ukrainian troops into retreat from the city of Debaltseve shortly after it was meant to take effect. At present, the United Nations estimates that more than 5,000 Ukrainian civilians have been killed since April 2014.
On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry blamed Russia for “persisting in their misrepresentations – lies – whatever you want to call them” when addressing the country’s involvement in Ukraine.
The 28-year-old journalist, who goes by “Nick” when here, is not shy about his admiration for the United States: within an hour-long conversation he calls it, “a perfect country,” “the best country,” “a holy land,” and reckons, according to his experience, “the majority of people who hold anti-American sentiments have never been to America.”
“I don’t know any better place,” he said.
But there is also a sense of urgency, even desperation, to his adulation. For Vorobiov, the survival of Ukraine depends on the imminent decisions of American lawmakers. If they fail to act soon, he said, “Russian tanks will be in Kiev.”
This year, along with an American and Ukrainian activist, Vorobiov founded the Center for Eastern European Perspectives as an answer to what he sees as a dangerous gap in understanding between the U.S. and Eastern Europe – which has led to the ineffective diplomatic efforts he is almost single-handedly trying to rectify. Vorobiov considers the Iron Curtain to be still very much in place, and he believes the Russians are using it to their advantage.
“We founded the Center to play the role of mediator between the United States and the eastern European region,” he said. “There is officially only one Ukrainian journalist working in the United States. You can imagine how important something like this is, especially with the presence of the Russian media – or should I say army – which attacks on all different fronts.”
The Center for Eastern European Perspectives is part think-tank, part facilitator of people-to-people diplomacy. Vorobiov said he modeled it after his first experience in the United States, which was as a participant of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) in August 2013.
The IVLP Program, which was conducted and designed by World Learning, an international non-profit focusing on education, development, and exchange programs, took four other mid-career Ukrainian journalists across the United States over a span of three weeks for trainings and cultural events. Vorobiov credits the experience as a life-changing opportunity that made him realize the importance of small-scale diplomacy, especially between the U.S. and Eastern Europe.
“This is the best way to educate groups, journalists, scholars, or politicians – bring them here, show them around, give them time to spend freely, informally,” he said. “We still have prejudices – even my generation has them about the U.S., they are filled with conspiracies. Soviet judgments didn’t disappear with the Soviet Union. This is what you do if you want to destroy a myth.”
Vorobiov is slated to return to Ukraine in March, and is actively trying to convince scholars, congressmen, staffers – anyone with clout – to come back with him.
“They need to see things with their own eyes,” he said. “Talk to people, visit military hospitals, see wounded soldiers and in what condition they are treated – talk to volunteers who literally feed the army. See the way they defend their country.”
“The United States is our main ally in this conflict,” Vorobiov said. “Their decisions are what will determine if our country will survive.”
Alumni Thematic International Exchange Seminars
Participants are alumni of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs and vary in age and level of expertise, but all will be engaged in the seminar topic and highly motivated to create change in their communities.
Please consult the list of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs below.
- U.S. citizen: https://exchanges.state.gov/us
- Non-U.S. citizen: https://exchanges.state.gov/non-us
Alumni TIES participants who are not U.S. citizens are nominated by the U.S. Embassies or Consulates in their countries. Please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country to learn how you can participate in Alumni TIES. Potential Alumni TIES participants who are living in the United States can apply for specific seminars managed by World Learning. The web link to online application will be distributed widely by the Office of Alumni Affairs of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and also available on this web page two months before these select seminars.
All participants for Alumni TIES seminars are selected by the U.S. Department of State.
Alumni TIES seminars take place in six world regions and the U.S.; each seminar is three to four days for small groups of alumni. The seminars include speakers, capacity development trainings, and alumni networking activities. Through the small grants initiative, alumni have the opportunity to take action and make a positive difference in their communities.
Watch more videos about the Alumni TIES program.
Read stories from past participants about their experiences at the seminars or with their small grant projects on the Alumni TIES blog.
For information on programs for U.S. government-sponsored exchange program alumni visit the International Exchange Alumni website.
Alumni TIES is funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by World Learning and the Office of Alumni Affairs, in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) at State.
Communities Connecting Heritage
Communities Connecting HeritageSM Program Impact
CCH Alumni Small Grants
At the conclusion of the program’s third year, the CCH team opened the Communities Connecting Heritage Small Grants to organizational and community member alumni from all three CCH cycles. The following projects were selected for CCH Small Grant implementation.
Kristina Llane (Albania)
Title of Project: Beekeeping Tradition as and Educative Tool
This project aims to preserve and share the importance of local beekeeping traditions in the Gjirokastra community of Albania. Kristina will work with elementary school students to cultivate youth interest in beekeeping’s cultural role in their community. Throughout the project, students and teachers will contribute to an educational book on beekeeping to that will equip teachers to continue sharing with future classrooms. The project will conclude with a panel discussion focused on protecting and preserving culture, tradition, and the environment in Albania.
Kalpana Gagdekar (India)
Title of Project: Connecting Community with Their Traditional/Heritage Cuisine
This project will explore and document the Chhara community’s traditional cuisines, which are experiencing a disappearing effect under modern global influences. Kalpana aims to document the rituals and heritage of Chhara cuisine through seven video interviews with Chhara women elders. The project combines modern technology with traditional food heritage and welcomes Chhara members of all ages to reclaim and rediscover their own heritage.
Mandala Theatre (Nepal) and Creative Connections (Connecticut, U.S.)
Title of Project: Hamro Sanskriti: Preserving Cultural Heritage through Participatory Theatre
The goal of this project is to provide youth in Connecticut and Nepal with a deeper connection to their own culture through student-led virtual workshops. The workshops – spearheaded by theater trainers in Nepal and Connecticut – will teach participatory theater techniques to 250 high school students and conclude with a model forum theater piece produced by students for the public.
Athar Lina (Egypt)
Title of Project: Rawya: The Water Women
Rawya: The Water Women is a Cairo-based project aimed at restoring the historically significant Sabil Um Abbas, a 19th century religious building and gathering place, into a usable community space once more. In addition to restoring aspects of the building, the project will connect U.S. and Egyptian women storytellers Donna Bryson and Chirine El Ansary to curate a storytelling experience of powerful 19th century women from their respective countries. Their work will culminate in a video exhibition that will be on display in the newly renovated Sabil Um Abbas for the local community to experience.
Bhasha Research and Publication Centre (India) and University of Northern Colorado (Colorado, U.S.)
Title of Project: Reclaiming Heritage II: Building Social Bonds and Bridges with Cultural Heritage
This project will utilize digital library resources at UNC to create and share cultural heritage “snapshots” with the broader community. These short videos will help immigrants and refugees in Colorado and indigenous peoples in India share their cultural heritage while building bonds with their local communities. The project will provide its participants with the ownership and platform to share their own heritage while paving a pathway for integration with others in their community.
Outside the Lens (California, U.S.)
Title of Project: Youth Tellers
Youth Tellers is a cross-cultural collaboration between Latinx youth in California and Bosnia-Herzegovina, relying on the concepts of past, present, and future to explore students’ complex cultural identities. Using digital media tools including photography, videography, and youth-facing communication forums like Discord, the project will culminate in a virtual exhibition showcasing the participants’ cultural heritage exchange with one another.
Explore the Story section on the right to learn more about the unique cultural heritage projects implemented since 2018.
Digital Communication Network
Examples of Past Digital Communication Network Projects
- Internet vs. Democracy Forum
- Roaring 20s #Digital Forum
- Combatting Disinformation Training Program
- Digital and Media Literacy for NGOs Training Program
- Tolerance and Coexistence 2.0 Forum
- Montenegro Digital Influencers Hub
- Humor and Games for Social Good Forum
Fulbright Specialist Program
Link U.S. Experts and International Institutions
A program of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Fulbright Specialist Program is a unique opportunity for U.S. academics and established professionals to engage in two- to six-week consultancies at host institutions across the globe. Host institutions, including universities, non-profits, and other organizations, develop and submit projects for approval by the U.S. Embassy or Fulbright Commission in their country in wide-ranging academic and professional fields that build capacity and promote long-lasting linkages between individuals and institutions in the U.S. and abroad.
Address Priorities and Build Institutional Capacity at Institutions Around the World
An important companion to the traditional Fulbright Scholar Program, the Fulbright Specialist Program differs by providing short-term exchange experiences that tackle discrete, sometimes rapid response, projects. The Fulbright Specialist Program encourages participation of both university faculty and highly experienced non-academics, including legal experts, business professionals, public health practitioners, scientists, IT professionals, artists, and journalists. The program is a mutually beneficial opportunity for the Specialist who may not be available to leave their position for an extended period of time and the host institution which needs an experienced partner to jointly tackle a problem or examine an issue on a short-term basis.
Become a Fulbright Specialist: Apply to Join the Roster
Fulbright Specialists are a diverse group of highly experienced, well-established faculty members and professionals who represent a wide variety of academic disciplines and professions. In order to be eligible to serve as a Fulbright Specialist, candidates must have significant experience in their respective professional field and be a U.S. citizen at time of application. Eligible disciplines and professional fields supported by the Fulbright Specialist Program are listed below.
- American Studies
- Biology Education
- Business Administration
- Chemistry Education
- Communications and Journalism
- Computer Science and Information Technology
- Engineering Education
- Environmental Science
- Library Science
- Math Education
- Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies
- Physics Education
- Political Science
- Public Administration
- Public/Global Health
- Social Work
- Urban Planning
Interested candidates can find more information about the Fulbright Specialist Program and apply to serve as a Specialist at fulbrightspecialist.worldlearning.org. Candidates who meet all eligibility requirements will have their full applications reviewed by a panel of their professional peers. Candidates who are approved by the peer review panels will then join the Fulbright Specialist Roster. Individuals remain on the Specialist Roster for a three-year term and are eligible to be matched with a host institution’s project abroad during that tenure.
The following costs are covered for those Fulbright Specialists who are matched to a project: international and domestic airfare, ground transportation, visa fees, lodging, meals, and incidentals. A daily honorarium is also provided.
Become a Host: Bring a Fulbright Specialist to Your Institution
The Fulbright Specialist Program allows universities, cultural centers, non-governmental organizations, and other institutions abroad to host a leading U.S. academic or professional to work on diverse, short-term collaborative projects where the Specialist conducts activities which may include, but are not limited to:
- Delivering a seminar or workshop
- Consulting on faculty or workforce development
- Developing academic or training curricula and materials
- Lecturing at the graduate or undergraduate level
- Conducting needs assessments or evaluations for a program or institution
Institutions interested in hosting a Fulbright Specialist should contact their local Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy for country-specific requirements and deadlines.
Contact information for all participating countries is available on the fulbrightspecialist.worldlearning.org website.
For more information or questions about the Fulbright Specialist Program, please email [email protected].
The Fulbright Specialist Program is a program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. government and administered by World Learning.
Global Undergraduate Exchange Program
For highlights from the Global UGRAD Program, visit our newsletter, the Global Gazette.
For further information: [email protected]
“Through EducationUSA Academy, I made new friends from all over the world, I learned about the American education system and requirements for getting accepted to an American university, and I visited one of the most interesting places in the United States in a friendly and helpful group.” -2017 EducationUSA Academy participant
- Be students (currently enrolled or recently graduated), ages 15-18 at the time of the summer program;
- Have at least three years of middle to high school English language study (language requirements may vary slightly by institution);
- Be mature and self-disciplined, with a commitment to active participation in the Academy and its programming;
- Aspire to pursue a portion of their higher education in the U.S.; and
- Have sufficient personal funds to cover program fees and international airfare.
More information is available from your local EducationUSA adviser. To find your local EducationUSA advising center, please visit the EducationUSA website.
Follow the program on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
EducationUSA Academy is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by World Learning.
International Visitor Leadership Program
End of Year Report
Chosen by U.S. embassies worldwide to participate, distinguished professionals include:
- government officials
- NGO leaders
- arts administrators
- mid-career professionals
Programs focus on policy issues in areas such as:
- international security
- foreign policy
- economics and trade
- women’s leadership
- public health
- disability rights and inclusion
World Learning staff members design national itineraries, arrange logistics, set up meetings in Washington, DC, and coordinate the collaboration of U.S. Department of State program officers, interpreters and International Visitor Liaisons, and more than 85 community-based member organizations from the Global Ties U.S. Network who arrange local programs nationwide.
Most participants are mid-career professionals and emerging leaders, and for many, this is their first visit to the U.S. Groups are of varying sizes, from single visitors to groups of 25 or more. World Learning program staff work closely with their State Department counterparts to design a program customized to the project objectives and the visitors’ interests.
IVLP candidates are selected solely by U.S. embassy personnel in each country. There is no application form. World Learning is a private sector partner of the U.S. Department of State; our role is limited to designing programs for participants once they arrive in the U.S. For further information regarding the program, please consult the U.S. Department of State’s website.
A typical project includes up to a week of meetings in Washington, DC, to provide an orientation and overview of the theme and to introduce visitors to federal officials and agencies, national organizations, academics and think tanks, nonprofits and NGOs, and professionals in their specific field of interest. All projects include a briefing on the US federal system of government. Meetings may include panel discussions, site visits, workshops, individual interlocutors, job shadowing, or service opportunities. Visitors typically travel to an additional three or four cities in geographically diverse regions of the country; the itinerary may include a state capital and a small town to provide first-hand exposure to the great diversity that exists in the U.S. Also included in the program design are hospitality dinners, school visits, community service activities, and cultural events such as rodeos, state fairs, festivals, visits to national parks, or events that highlight some unique aspect of the region visited.
“My recent experience in the IVLP program is so far the deepest ever for me to see and understand the full picture of what America as a country is like. I strongly believe this program will have a very long-term impact on my views about America and the world and to some extent it has already helped me to understand many long-time questions.” – Journalist from China
The International Visitor Leadership Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by World Learning.
Leaders Lead On-Demand Program
Examples of past leaders Lead On-Demand Projects:
- Vietnam Legal Aid
- Refugee Integration and Resettlement in Central and Eastern Europe
- Sports Leadership Program for Colombia
- Mongolia Disability Rights Legislation and Implementation
- Promoting Open Educational Resources: Middle East and North Africa
- Tourism and Development in Serbia and Kosovo
- Religious Freedom and Interfaith Dialogue for Myanmar, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand
- Emerging Leaders Exchange for Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland
- Environmental Advocacy for Mongolia
- Getting Connected Program for the South Pacific
- Civic Engagement Program for Moldova
- Disinformation and Fact Checking in Kenya
The Leaders Lead On-Demand is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by World Learning.
Participant Training Program for Ukraine
PTP has organized more than 30 tailored training programs for Ukrainian professionals across the U.S. and in 24 European countries. In addition, the project provides in-country and regional programming including conferences and workshops to build on the training participants receive abroad. Participants also have opportunities to engage with the many of the experts advising Ukrainian government institutions through round table discussions.
More than 40 international and Ukrainian advisors have consulted with institutions including the prime minister’s office; the Kiev city government; and government Ministries of Agriculture, Finance, Health, and others. The advisors have worked with these institutions on issues including systems, protocols, and communication strategies.
Finally, by supporting the project as a local partner, CEUME has improve its ability to receive and manage USAID funding and carry out participant training activities in the field.
The project is funded by USAID as a task order under the Focus on Results: Enhancing Capacity across Sectors in Transition II-Participant Training contract (FORECAST II-PT). For additional information visit the CEUME website or the project’s Facebook page (both in Ukranian).