Author Archives: wl-admin

World Learning 101

Over 1,400 students from around the world are beginning new adventures in education with World Learning this fall. SIT Study Abroad students will live with homestay families, tackle month-long undergraduate research projects, and become part of the local fabric in communities around the world. In Vermont and Washington, DC SIT Graduate Institute will prepare students from the United States and abroad for leadership positions at nonprofits, NGO’s, and schools. Students from East Asia, the Pacific, and the Western Hemisphere will learn about US education, society and culture through the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD) funded by the U.S. Department of State and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Check out the infographic below to learn more about these three programs, and the students enrolled in them.    

Posted in Homestay, international exchange, SIT Graduate Institute, SIT Study Abroad | Leave a comment

Forum Examines Future of Global Youth Awakening

A member of parliament from Sri Lanka. An Egyptian legal expert.  A Jordanian health advocate, a Turkish professor, and a journalist from Bangladesh. World Learning convened more than 70 top young leaders from the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, the United States, and Turkey for a special conference in Istanbul June 4. The Next Generation Speaks Forum provided a space for promising youth to connect and share the challenges and opportunities they face in transitional societies, as well as brainstorm next steps in what some call a global youth awakening, as exemplified by the Arab Spring. Their collective insights at the forum and over the next few months will be shared as part of a report to be released by World Learning in November. Join the discussion and see photos from the forum at The day began with welcome … Continue reading

Posted in Event, Global Dialogues, international exchange | Leave a comment

OMUNGA: Blogs Become a New Space for Political Discussion and Debate in Angola

While political blogging is the norm in most democratic nations these days, the technology is relatively new in Angola where telecommunications infrastructure is still catching up after decades of conflict.  According to a recent USAID-funded report by World Learning titled The State of Angolan NGOs, 55% of non-governmental organizations in Angola do not have access to the internet.  But online participation, particularly among youth interested in social issues, is quickly growing thanks to courageous blogs like Quintas de Debate (in English, Fields of Debate). Quintas de Debate is a blog created by Omunga, a USAID-supported Angolan organization that champions human rights and political freedoms through advocacy.  Led by the charismatic José Patrocinio, Omunga is best known for its work supporting street children and organizing peaceful demonstrations against unilateral plans for neighborhood demolitions that inadequately address relocation.  The “Don’t Tear Down … Continue reading

Posted in Advocacy, Education, Global Dialogues, Women and Girls | 1 Comment

SIT Graduate Institute’s Capstone: More than just a presentation


Posted in Photography, SIT Graduate Institute | 1 Comment

Leadership: Promoting Cross-Cultural Understanding

Sarah “Sally” G. Epstein saw firsthand the effects of World War II during her 1949 Experiment in International Living to Austria. Her homestay was with the Franz Koffler family in Vienna, a city divided among forces from the former Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States. Her family told her how they had chewed leather to stave off hunger during the war and they showed her ancestral portraits slashed by Soviet bayonets. “I began to realize that war is not just soldiers fighting, it’s civilians who get affected,” she said. “How strange it was to feel so warm and comfortable with someone you considered your enemy a few years before.” Epstein’s lifelong interest in promoting cross-cultural understanding led her to take on a number of key roles. In the 1950s, she and her first husband Lionel, also … Continue reading

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Advancing the Struggle: Women Entrepreneurs Push for Rights, Sustainable Agriculture in Latin America

Growing up in the remote jungle region of Peru, businesswoman Claudia Gonzales Valdivieso never expected that her brand of locally produced fruit and nut snacks would be sold in the United States in retailers like Whole Foods. Claudia’s company, Siso Industries, promotes the development of sustainable agriculture and expands economic opportunities for people in her region. “Our company really wants to get small farmers involved in the world market,” she said. The fruits, nuts, and other produce grown by Claudia’s network of local farmers also present alternatives to those who grow the popular coca plant, the raw ingredient used in cocaine. Claudia’s situation is remarkable in a continent where women in business positions face obstacles due to cultural stigma and the pressure to raise a family. Recently, Claudia traveled to the US on World Learning’s International Visitor Leadership Program to … Continue reading

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Alumni Critique Obama\’s Mideast Policy

How did Middle Eastern youth respond to President Obama’s May 19 speech to the Arab world in which he highlighted self-determination and human rights? A new article on the World Learning website features the opinions of four Middle Eastern alumni of World Learning exchange programs to the US who share their reactions to Obama’s speech, their region’s democratic movements, and US foreign policy. Saleem Alhashedy, a Yemeni alumnus of World Learning’s MENA Peace Scholarship Program, writes, “There are times in the course of history when the actions of ordinary citizens spark movements for change because they speak to a longing for freedom that has been building up for years.” Among the lines of President Obama’s speech to the Middle East and North Africa, this one speaks to millions in the region and encourages them to continue on the road of … Continue reading

Posted in Global Citizenship, Global Dialogues, Inspired To Act, international exchange | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Serbia Shave Off: Exchange Student Raises Nearly $2,500 for Cancer Research

Serbian exchange student Kristina Koprivica shaved her lovely locks April 27 after raising $2,436 to support childhood cancer research. A participant on the USAID-funded FORECAST Exchange: Serbia and Montenegro program, Kristina was inspired to shave it all off after seeing children suffering from cancer while volunteering at Eastern Maine Medical Center. Kristina was joined by 120 classmates and staff at her adopted University of Maine, who collectively raised more than $14,000 towards finding a cure for childhood cancer. Kristina not only exceeded her personal fundraising goal of $2,000, but earned the title of top individual fundraiser at the University of Maine. Inspired by Kristina’s example, World Learning program officer Thomas Bruey also joined her campaign and had his head shaved by colleagues at World Learning. These photos show the stunning transformation. Visit the FORECAST Exchange: Serbia and Montenegro program blog … Continue reading

Posted in Advocacy, Global Health, Inspired To Act, International Development | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Alone No Longer: Ethiopia’s Orphans Find Community with World Learning

A new video from Ethiopia captures the progress being made by World Learning’s SCOPSO project in addressing that country’s high prevalence of orphans and vulnerable children, especially those affected by HIV/AIDS. The video features an interview with two Ethiopian school children whose access to nutritious meals, school supplies, and community support has allowed them to focus their efforts on school and contribute to the wellbeing of their society. “We have to be strong and finish our education, and then help others,” said Yidenek Assefa, one of the children featured. Assefa is just one of the approximately 40,000 orphaned and vulnerable children served by SCOPSO, which aims to provide quality, comprehensive services with a focus on increased school enrollment, retention, and academic performance. Watch the video below:

Posted in Education, International Development, Sustainability, Video | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment