Golden Weeks of Healthcare, Exchange and Celebration

This past October, 24 Chinese medical professionals participated in a U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) Healthcare Training Program. They attended a week of training  at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). Unlike most Chinese who returned to their hometowns or traveled around China to celebrate the 1949 founding of the People’s Republic of China, these 24 Chinese visitors spent  this “Golden Week” in the classroom at UPMC for training sessions on hospital administrative finance, information technology, handling the media and U.S. insurance. In addition, they had the opportunity to tour several top facilities such as the Children’s Hospital of...

Continue  

Interns’ International Experiences Enhance Cultural Exchange

A combined total of 20.5 years abroad in 15 different countries. Eight foreign languages spoken. GlobalConnect division’s five new interns embody the diversity of backgrounds and cultural experiences Meridian emphasizes as the foundation for global leadership. Exploring Cultural Outreach through YLAI YLAI (Young Leaders of the Americas) Program  Intern Alexandria Anderson also understands the importance of cross-cultural communication in community development. As an undergraduate at Spelman College, Anderson studied abroad in Cochabamba, Bolivia in a field studies-based program focused on multiculturalism, globalization, and social change. From potato farming with her host family to participating in a welcoming ceremony in...

Continue  

Soft (Boiled) Power: Diplomacy through National Culinary Profiling

“… Stomachs don’t waste time with universal doubt. They begin with inherited cultural wisdom which they seek to further. Bodies and stomachs immerse us in the world, engage us in all sorts of interactions, and blur rigid boundaries between ourselves and our surroundings.” – Richard Shusterman   We live in a world dominated by food, in both its presence and absence. Nowadays it is possible for someone to fill a culinary passport without leaving the city, let alone country. What people eat plays a major part in defining them. And, just as it is true on an individual level,...

Continue  

International Exchanges: Instilling Hope and Understanding for a Better 2016

Here I was, in a charter bus with 15 Pakistani young leaders, dancing to Punjabi music, while directing the Chinese bus driver where to go in the bustling streets of San Francisco. To most people, this situation would seem bizarre. However, these types of unique experiences are a typical part of my job at Meridian International Center. Although they are definitely different from the traditional diplomacy, people-to-people exchanges have the power to effect meaningful change. Most notably, these exchanges break down stereotypes to foster intercultural understanding. For the 2015 Emerging Leaders of Pakistan program, Meridian worked on behalf of...

Continue  

Community Development in Iraq through Volunteerism

By Ameer Sabri, Manager of Volunteers of Duhok University (VDU) Alumnus IYLEP 2015 Volunteers of Duhok University (VDU) is an initiative launched by a group of students from the University of Duhok – a fast-growing institution in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Established in March 2015, the idea of setting up a youth center was pitched by a student, Saeed Qasim, and his mates, Zeena, Pekhatin, Karzan, Matty, Khosh, Iman, Yoshia, Khalid, Shihab, Ahmed, and Iman Na’man to create and spread the culture of volunteerism among students. First of all, the VDU team developed a registration form for membership...

Continue