From Behind The Desk To Changing Lives

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  

YLAI Professional Fellows Pilot – My Series Finale Moments

Meridian is excited to implement the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative Professional Fellows Program on behalf of the U.S. Department of State. In fall 2016, 250 new YLAI Professional Fellows from Latin America and the Caribbean will expand their leadership and entrepreneurial experience through fellowships at NGOs and businesses across the U.S. Visit YLAI.state.gov for more information and to begin your application! Stay up-to-date on #YLAI at: www.twitter.com/YLAINetwork www.facebook.com/YLAINetwork   There is usually a moment during the series finale of a long-running television show when there is a montage of scenes from prior episodes or when the camera focuses...

Continue  

“America 101” to Genetically Modified Foods Seminars: Evolutions in International Exchange Trends

On Feb. 18th, Meridian International Center said goodbye to Senior Program Officer Paula Manganelli, who has over 30 years’ experience scheduling international exchange groups. During the send-off, I spoke to a host of other Meridian veterans about their programming experiences and changes in international exchange trends. Former Program Officer and Foreign Service Officer Dick Christensen attributes Meridian’s success in international exchange in part to its illustrious history. Meridian sits on a majestic lot on Crescent Place NW, just off of the 16th St. NW stretch in front of Meridian Hill Park, what was the geographic meridian of Washington, DC...

Continue  

IYLEP Alumnus Promotes Peace through Debate

Yousuf Al-Rawi, a fifth year medical student at the University of Baghdad and an alumnus of the 2013 Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP) , is already putting the skills he developed into practice by working with his colleagues to make a difference in his home country. In his early years of undergraduate study, Al-Rawi learned of IYLEP through his university and was drawn to apply by the chance to experience American culture firsthand while being exposed to new ideas that could be applied in Iraq. Upon becoming a finalist and participating in IYLEP 2013, he took full advantage of this opportunity. Al-Rawi...

Continue  

Even in Norway, youth fall between the cracks. Exchange participants study how to save them.

After flying from Norway that afternoon, Edvard Eidsvåg (Eddi, for short) was left wide awake on a late night in March. He wandered the streets around his Dupont Circle-area hotel, searching for those many view as the outcasts of society: the drug addicts and the homeless. That night in March, Eddi sought out the very people he claims society tends to ignore. Eddi is Founder and CEO of People Project (or Pøbelprosjektet), a Norwegian organization dedicated to providing opportunities for at-risk youth. He and his colleague Lene Walle, Regional Manager of People Project, arrived in Washington, DC on March...

Continue