After her husband was captured by a militant group, Hala faced the impossible choice of staying in war-torn Aleppo or seeking asylum in Europe for herself and her four children. Fleeing to Europe would mean leaving behind her mother and brother, her home, her job as an engineer—Hala would have to abandon a life she had built over 40 years. A PBS documentary followed Hala and her children through Europe as they became part of a group of more than 65 million forcibly displaced persons around the world. Continue
Studying abroad is an adventure, and like all adventures, it has critical moments. As I undertook the journey I felt excited but also unsure of what to expect. My adventure began a little more than four months ago when I arrived in Washington, DC, with two suitcases, a study plan, a desire to find an internship and a fixed objective of widening my personal, cultural and professional perspectives. While pursuing my Bachelor’s in International Relations in La Universidad De Los Andes in Bogota, Colombia, I grew increasingly motivated to deepen my knowledge through work experience, and to become a...Continue
Renowned philosopher Confucius once said “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” Perseverance will get you somewhere, and sometimes, it ends up being a better place than you originally envisioned. One of the purposes of professional exchange programs is to motivate participants to realize their potential and to give them opportunities to connect with new people and understand the advantages of social entrepreneurship through exchange of ideas and experiences. This gives them the tool set to persevere through the challenges Confucius referred to so long ago. Professional Exchange Program alumnus Moreblessing...Continue
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
IVLP Alumni Spotlight features a U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) alumnus who is putting into practice ideas and concepts gleaned during the IVLP study tour. Here we feature Mr. Ali Ahmed Mahamoud from Comoros, an IVLP participant from 2013.