COUNTRIES: Iraq, United States
DURATION: 03/01/2016 - 12/31/2017
FUNDER: World Learning
CONTACT[email protected]

Program Description

World Learning’s Digital Young Leaders Exchange Program (DYLEP) was a virtual exchange program for high school students in Iraq and the U.S.

Through DYLEP, students developed their leadership skills, interest in civic engagement, and respect for diversity. DYLEP engaged more than 300 youth from all over the world.

Through this virtual program, students could participate from anywhere and structure activities around their own schedules. This allowed students who might not be able to participate in a traditional in-person exchange program opportunities to connect with other youth around the world. DYLEP was fully funded and selected students could participate in the program free of charge. The program strove to be inclusive and encouraged students from diverse backgrounds to apply.

Program Goals

Through DYLEP, participants:

  • Built mutual understanding between the people of Iraq and the people of the U.S.
  • Developed a sense of civic rights and responsibility and a respect for diversity.
  • Improved their leadership skills and understanding of digital citizenship.
  • Implemented community projects that have positive social impact.

Why We Are Different

We Modeled Experiential Learning Online

Learning online with DYLEP was interactive and fun. DYLEP integrated World Learning’s commitment to experiential learning, to “learn through reflection on doing,” into the digital space. During the program, participants practiced their leadership skills by navigating challenging scenarios, and then reflected on their experiences through dialogue with their peers.

We Offered Safe Spaces for Small Group Conversations

Even though DYLEP reached hundreds of participants, each group of five participants was paired with an expert facilitator for their online dialogues. In dialogues, participants discussed a wide range of topics, including: their hopes and fears, gender norms and expectations, and stereotypes and bias.

We Built Global Competency Skills for the Future

DYLEP participants engaged in activities that helped them develop and utilize skills that are needed in the workforce for the future. Through small-group activities, participants practiced collaborative problem solving and intercultural communication–especially important in an increasingly globalized world.