People-to-people Exchanges

GlobalTies U.S. logo In addition to working in communities around the globe, World Learning brings emerging leaders to the U.S. each year on a variety of exchange programs.

We offer short-term visits for individuals seeking professional development through meetings with U.S. and international counterparts, onsite industry and community discussions, and a broader view of core U.S. values and culture. Our academic exchanges place international students in U.S. colleges and universities to strengthen their leadership and career-specific skills while they explore U.S. culture. On our youth programs, young people and high school students from around the globe learn about leadership, current affairs, and peacebuilding. Through these exchange programs we empower a cross-section of people to participate in the development of their careers and the transformation of their communities.

Our International Visitor Leadership Program customizes programs for professionals in almost every field to get a first-hand look at trends, best practices and new ways of tackling challenges with their professional counterparts in the U.S. Our UGRAD program exposes university students from around the world to the U.S. educational system, civil society and as well as our country’s racial, religious, and ethnic diversity. The Transformational Leadership Scholarships and Partnerships Program helps train a new generation of Kosovar leaders to drive economic, political, and social change in their country through higher education opportunities in the U.S.  The Jovenes en Accion program helps teenagers in Mexico promote a culture of well-being among their peers and build leadership skills by participating in community projects and training in the U.S. Our Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program brings Sunni, Shia, and Kurdish high school students to the U.S. to learn about leadership, diversity, civic responsibility, and community engagement. These are only a sample of the dozens of programs we run each year.

Our youth programming extends to U.S. teens too. We provide opportunities for high school students to travel overseas through World Learning’s flagship program, The Experiment in International Living. Founded in 1932, The Experiment offers three-to-five week summer programs abroad in more than two dozen countries. Experimenters connect deeply and engage meaningfully with the richness and complexities of another country through homestays, outdoor excursions, and meetings with local leaders and civil society groups. Program themes include cultural discovery, sustainability and the environment, language study, and community service.

Each year, World Learning administers short-term learning experiences abroad for thousands of professionals, which offer links to U.S. and international colleagues, exposure to new ideas, and a broader view of core U.S. values and culture.

Through professional exchanges such as the International Visitor Leadership Program Leadership Program (IVLP), the Professional Fellows Program, the Alumni TIES Seminars, the U.S. Speaker Program, and the Arts Envoy Program, we connect emerging leaders and subject-matter experts from more than 150 countries on programs in the United States and other countries. Professional exchanges include site visits, meetings, panel discussions, lectures, fellowships, community service, and other experiential activities, that enable participants to discover the dimensions and context of their own professions in the United States and abroad, make lasting contacts with peers and colleagues, and share insights about their activities at home.

In addition to the professional development and training components, our programs include extensive opportunities for participants to experience America through cultural and outdoor activities, sporting events, homestays, and home hospitality. The relationships and opportunities experienced by these visiting professionals and the Americans they meet foster mutual understanding, which enhances the capacity and commitment of individuals, institutions, and communities to create a more peaceful and just world.

World Learning has decades of experience conducting academic exchange programs on behalf of various donors. We manage the recruitment, selection, placement, monitoring and support for undergraduate and graduate students from almost 50 countries who are studying in the U.S. and abroad. Exchange participants come from every corner of the globe, including Latin America, East Asia, the Middle East, South Asia, Africa, and Central and Southeast Europe.

With a network of hundreds of US and international colleges and universities, World Learning is able to design high-quality programs that meet the needs of both participants and funders. Our programs are enhanced with community service, internships, and leadership skills building activities to deliver a complete student experience. Through these life-changing opportunities, participants develop the knowledge and skills to lead positive change in their home communities.

World Learning’s academic exchange portfolio includes scholars supported through USAID’s participant training tools and services. We recruit scholars with exceptional leadership qualities and support them with master’s, PhD and certificate programs. These scholars then return home to drive important changes in their workplaces and communities.

Read more about our academic exchanges.

World Learning administers youth exchange programs to foster greater understanding and respect between the youth of the United States and other countries. Our dynamic, experiential curriculum focuses on leadership, global issues, peacebuilding, dialogue, activism, civics, and volunteerism. Youth are accompanied by adult mentors on short-term programs, which are one- to five-weeks long and based in the U.S. or other countries. 

Our youth exchange programs have created an effective model that helps participants gain a stronger sense of civic responsibility, establish relationships across ethnic, religious, and national lines, and develop the skills and knowledge to transform their communities and countries.

In addition, The Experiment in International Living sends high school students on immersive, life-changing experiences in more than 20 countries around the world through three- to five-week summer abroad programs.

Read more about our youth exchanges.

In all of our global training, we bring to bear World Learning’s decades-long expertise in delivering experiential learning programs that incorporate the best current thinking in adult learning for sustainable results.

Since 1982, we have administered U.S. Agency for International Development participant training programs for well over 100,000 people from around the world. These programs address country development goals by providing people with opportunities to acquire new knowledge and skills and are designed to address the needs of participants and their workplaces, communities, and systems.

For the U.S. Department of State and other donors and clients, we administer a range of programs that develop leadership and technical skills. For example, the Leaders for Democracy Fellows program combines workshop-style leadership training with carefully crafted internship placements in the U.S. and Lebanon, to support emerging leaders from across the Middle East. Other current programs address critical technical needs, such as secure management of ports and borders.


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