Future Leaders with High Hopes Shine at IYLEP 2015

It is hard to keep the energy flowing when you are exhausted after completing a tight, four-week academic program, but the excitement and restlessness of being in a city that is considered the power center of the world, doesn’t allow you the time or the space to rest! You chose to keep the buzz going to explore what is so special about this place and what is waiting for you in this epicenter of the United States. The thrill doubles when the subconscious keeps reminding you that you are in Washington DC where the Office of the U.S. President...

Continue  

IYLEP 2015: Welcome to the Concrete Jungle

Landing in New York City for the first time in life and watching extraordinary hustle and bustle on the roads surrounded by high-rise buildings (which require a 90-degree angle to get a sight of the top) not only dazes but also infuses unusual inquisitiveness to explore each corner of the city especially when you have just three days to work on your wish list. It is almost dreams coming true for youngsters to be among the millions of strangers, yellow cabs, and policemen mostly seen through the lens of Hollywood. These are some of the moments, feelings, and reactions...

Continue  

IYLEP 2014 Kicks Off in New York City

“I learn, I lead, IYLEP!” This was the rallying cry at the opening conference for IYLEP 2014 last weekend in New York City. IYLEP, which stands for the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program, is an intercultural and educational exchange initiative funded by the U.S. Embassy-Baghdad and administered by Meridian International Center for the sixth consecutive year. While the students will spend most of the program in the U.S. at five American universities focusing on varying institute themes, New York City provided the perfect venue for the participants’ first weekend in the United States. Designed as a four-week summer program for...

Continue  

IYLEP Blog Contest: The land of dreams

Alumni of the 2013 Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program reconnected this winter in Erbil. Alums from both the High School and Undergraduate programs gathered to reflect on their experiences and participate in workshops and panel discussions that built upon the skills students developed last summer in the U.S. Meridian invited IYLEP alumni to submit a blog post describing their personal experience and growth with the program. We selected the winning entries to post on The LEAD.

The land of dreams. That’s what goes through anyone’s mind when he or she arrives in the USA. The IYLEP was our own, unique experience in the USA. To be there as one hundred students in an exchange program was the most wonderful chance in our lives. Everyone told me that I was so lucky because I was accepted from the first time I applied. I took my acceptance as a great opportunity to see a new world, to know, learn, and participate in teamwork one way or another. From the first time we met our friends, professors, and mentors, I was so happy because I had a lot of American people around us so I could communicate with them all the time in English, learn from them, and tell them about our amazing culture. The thing that I really loved about Americans is that they are kind, helpful, and really open-minded so they can accept any person from any culture.

Continue  

Learning to Network through IYLEP

Since coming back home from USA at IYLEP 2013, I have been involved with IFMSA-Iraq, or Iraq branch of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA). The IFMSA was officially established in 1951 after the end of World War II. It currently maintains 114 National Member Organizations in 108 different countries so far, and its main goals are divided according to the work of its 6 committees (Public Health, Medical Education, Professional Exchange, Researches Exchange, Human Rights and Peace, and Reproductive including AIDS).

Continue