A large group of people on a hill overlooking green rolling hills.

World Learning Youth Programs bring international high school age youth to the U.S. for short-term intensive leadership and peacebuilding programs and exchanges.

Learn more about our Global Youth Exchanges.

The programs have traditional summer camp elements combined with academic content on global issues, civics, peacebuilding, cross-cultural and language studies. All programs follow a similar format of orientation, group development and training in a first location, followed by an excursion to a homestay community and further exploration of the program theme, concluding with re-entry, reflection and, in some cases, project design in a final location. The U.S. programs start in one of three locations: the SIT Graduate Institute campus in Vermont; Washington, DC, or the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. The homestay segment is implemented by one of our over 20 local partner organizations spread across the U.S. who design and implement the homestays in close coordination with our staff. Most programs end in Washington, DC. Most programs expect students to create an issue-based project design which will be implemented post-program in their home communities. Some of the domestic programs include U.S. youth and some of our programs take U.S. youth overseas. We have more than 1,000 youth participants on over 20 programs each year.


World Learning seeks individuals who have demonstrated interest in youth development and experiential learning, and experience working with young people and leading high school summer programs. Leaders maximize the wellbeing of participants in order to foster meaningful and memorable learning experiences. Leaders deliver educational content and are knowledgeable in the design and delivery of active, engaging workshops. Leaders also represent World Learning in host communities and manage partner relationships with integrity and professionalism.

World Learning leaders are dedicated to the field of youth development and love working directly with young people. They are dynamic, flexible, energetic and team players who succeed in multifaceted, intense, fast-paced and collaborative environments. They are professionals who are responsible, and able to manage challenges and uncertainty with poise and compassion and compromise.

A woman stands in front of a white board with a flipchart next to her.

Our Leaders

  • Are dynamic, flexible, energetic, pro-active team players;
  • Genuinely enjoy spending time with high school students;
  • Are caring, warm, friendly, and love to laugh;
  • Are willing to put their students’ learning and development ahead of their own experience;
  • Are ready for an intense, challenging, and rewarding summer;
  • Have a high level of social and emotional intelligence;
  • Have organizational and logistical skills;
  • Demonstrate skills and experience in cross-cultural sensitivity and communication;
  • Bring a wide variety of backgrounds and social identities;
  • Are aware of and committed to addressing bias, systemic inequalities, power, privilege, and oppression;
  • Are, above all, educators and leaders.


Voices from Past Leaders

We asked first-time Youth Program leaders: What would you tell future applicants about the leader role? Here’s what they said…

“This position is exhausting! But it was one of the most personally and professionally rewarding experiences of my life so far.”

Lydia, Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (Undergraduate)

“You have to be committed to this job! When I first applied, I thought I was just looking for a summer job. What I found was a life-altering two months with memories and relationships I will hold onto forever. I can honestly say at the end of all this that I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything else I could have done this summer.”

Andrew, Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (English)

“It will stretch and forever shape you as a human, teacher, facilitator, and activist.”

J, Jóvenes en Acción and Youth Ambassadors Program with the Caribbean

Past Leaders

Soufiane Khebbaz
Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (Arabic and English)
Soufiane Khebbaz is an experienced practitioner with a demonstrated history of working in the philanthropy and higher education. Soufiane worked in the nonprofit community in Casablanca as an office manager and a program coordinator for the past six years. He designed and implemented leadership youth programs from many organizations the last of which was titled “Youth Media and Social Change”. Soufiane is a graduate of SIT Graduate Institute where he received a MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership and Management. He was a Fulbright Teacher Assistant and participated in a training for intercultural communication at Stanford University, as well as part of International Visitors Leaders Program at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He was selected as an Emerging Leader at the Atlantic Dialogue Conference in December 2016. He is working on a PhD research project that grapples with peacebuilding, urban social change and its connections to larger political struggles in the MENA region.

Destini Torres
Jóvenes en Acción
Destini Torres was born and raised in New York City. She holds a BA in sociology and communication with a minor in gender studies. Destini studied abroad with SIT Study Abroad in 2016 to Nicaragua and Cuba where she further developed her understanding of the cultures of the countries and the Spanish language. Following graduation, Destini traveled to Ireland for two weeks and lived in New Orleans for a month and a half. There Destini immersed herself in new environments, reflecting on her own identity and role in society. After traveling, Destini commenced work as a Bilingual Domestic Violence (DV) case manager for Domestic Violence survivors at a DV family shelter. As a case manager, Destini helps to stabilize the lives of the survivors as well as their children following their traumatic experiences by referring them to external support systems and counseling them through case management. At the shelter, she facilitates weekly domestic violence support groups in Spanish. Destini’s long-term goals are to receive her master’s degree in social work and to continue connecting with people from all cultures through traveling abroad.

Mary Beth Moyer
Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (Undergraduate)
Mary Beth Moyer grew up in Lewiston, Maine. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Maine at Farmington where she earned her BA in international and global studies with a concentration on the francophone world and a political science minor. Her passion for the world and travel began when she participated in a 16-day long exchange program to Australia and New Zealand when she was twelve years old. Currently she is a MA candidate at SIT Graduate Institute studying peacebuilding and conflict transformation. Mary Beth has fallen in love with Sub-Saharan Africa and has visited the region several times. Mary Beth enjoys working with youth and spent the summers of 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 working with students from the United States, Ireland, Germany, Bosnia, Spain, and Iraq, including the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Prorgam (English). She has volunteered with the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, tutored adult ELL students in her hometown, and now works as an International Baccalaureate English teacher at an international school in Senegal. In her free time, she enjoys going on walks, reading, and completing jigsaw puzzles.