Calling all U.S. citizen alumni! Now that you have returned to the United States, do you ever wish that you had an opportunity to put your intercultural and critical language skills to good use? Are you interested in connecting with students in your host country or another country in the region to continue the exchange of values you started on your exchange?
If so, then the Virtual Alumni Language Exchange Program is for you! During the 2016-2017 academic year, the State Department will facilitate two-way language and cultural exchanges between American alumni of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs and their foreign counterparts in select countries. The exchange provides an opportunity for you as American alumni to practice and refine critical language skills while allowing foreign students to have the rare opportunity to speak English with a native speaker and learn first-hand about U.S. culture and vocabulary.
How Does it Work?
- Interested and eligible alumni should apply no later than September 27, 2016.
- Selected alumni will be matched with an English teacher and their classroom in the relevant country. (See more information on participating countries and schools below.)
- After an initial brief online training by our partner Reach the World, each alumnus/teacher pair will collaborate to map a virtual exchange journey that best fit the interests of the participants and the ongoing curriculum of the students.
- Utilizing the robust Reach the World online platform, the American alumni and the foreign classrooms will both submit selected online content (blogs, photos, discussion questions, etc.) and connect virtually on a pre-determined schedule arranged by the alumni/teacher pair on agreed-upon topics.
- Alumni are expected to post at least one online submission every other week and to connect virtually at least once a month (2x per month for Russia). Certain countries and teachers may request more interaction and teams are always welcome to connect more frequently above the minimum requirement.
- While the curriculum and topics can be customized according to the local context and preference of the participants, teams are encouraged to discuss themes that promote greater cross-cultural understanding.
- Wherever possible, exchanges should support a true two-way language exchange, i.e. content presented in both English and in the host language. However, it is ultimately up to the alumni/ teacher pair to decide how to organize their exchange.
- The program will run for approximately eight months, launching around October 2016 and concluding in May 2017.
2016-2017 Eligible Languages and Countries
During the 2016-2017 academic year, the Virtual Alumni Language Exchange Program will take place with the following countries:
- Russia (Russian)
- Moldova (Russian)
- Indonesia (Indonesian)
- Egypt (Arabic)
- Iraq (Arabic)
In most cases, alumni will be paired with students learning English as part of the English Access Microscholarship Program, a supplementary English program for talented 13-20 year olds from disadvantaged communities. In select cases, alumni will be paired with local university English students.
If you are interested in applying to be part of this exclusive program and making a lasting impression on students abroad who may otherwise never have the opportunity to speak with an American, apply now!
Please direct all questions about the virtual exchange program to firstname.lastname@example.org.