People-to-People Exchanges
VideoVideo| Youth Ambassadors Program: Brazil

Building relationships across cultures is vital to creating a more peaceful and just world. When people from diverse cultures and backgrounds know and understand one another—and gain the skills they need to contribute as citizens and leaders—they form the global partnerships that undergird global security, economic stability, and tolerance.

World Learning offers dozens of exchange programs each year, empowering people from more than 150 countries at all points in their careers and academic lives. Our professional exchanges include networking opportunities with U.S. and international counterparts, site visits, and industry and community discussions; our academic exchanges place international students in U.S. colleges and universities to strengthen their leadership and career skills; and our youth programs teach young people about leadership, current affairs, and peacebuilding. These exchanges promote tolerance, empathy, and respect, as well as foster a deeper understanding of U.S. values and culture.

Read on to see how we incorporate the five signature elements of World Learning’s approach to change into our People-to-People Exchange programming or check out our Theory of Change for an even more detailed look at what sets us apart.

OUR APPROACH

Experiential Learning: We believe that people learn best by doing—and then reflecting on their actions. We encourage reflection throughout each of our exchange program activities to help participants absorb what they are learning and understand how they can use that knowledge once they return home. Read more.
Leadership Development: Strong leadership is essential to tackling the world’s challenges. Our exchange programs help the next generation of global leaders expand their sense of civic responsibility, establish cross-cultural relationships, and develop the skills to transform their communities. Read more.
Inclusion: Solutions and partnerships can be truly global only when they include all voices. We approach our programs through the lens of social inclusion, bringing traditionally excluded voices into discussions and encouraging all participants to consider power structures within communities. Read more.
Innovation: Not everyone can take advantage of traditional exchange programs—travel can be prohibitive for cultural, economic, and health-related reasons. We employ innovative tools such as flexible semesters and virtual platforms to help us reach and connect with even more participants. Read more.
Grants Management: Many of our people-to-people exchange participants go on to create projects in their communities. We offer several small grant opportunities for our program alumni, particularly through Alumni Thematic International Exchange seminars and World Learning’s Advancing Leaders Fellowship, to help them get their projects off the ground. Read more.