Applications for Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program for Undergraduate Students Have Opened

This past week, I was fortunate enough to be present for the launch of the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program for Undergraduate Students (IYLEP) 2016 application. While we knew students were waiting for the chance to apply, the results were astonishing. Once the application was released, applications began to arrive almost immediately. Over 250 applications were started within the first 24 hours, and that number has steadily increased.  Currently, nearly 3,000 applications have been created and several thousand more are expected by the application period’s closing on December 1, 2015. Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program for Undergraduate Students is implemented by...

Continue  

Iraq’s New Generation of Leaders

By Jessi Pascual, Programs Intern Global Connect Division When you have a powerful unit of 99 Iraqi Young Leaders together, you can only expect greatness as an outcome. This summer 99 Iraqi students journeyed throughout the United States as part of the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP). I watched them grow from the moment they trickled into the Grand Hyatt Ballroom to the moment they stood on the curb of P Street in Washington D.C. to say tearful goodbyes. Even before they stepped onto American soil, they were all set to make their mark in the United States and...

Continue  

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