By: Julia Rabin, Professional Exchange Programs Outreach Coordinator
Greenheart Exchange is a truly diverse branch, including a variety of inbound programs for international students and professionals. From high school students hosted by American families to international teachers spending the year in American classrooms, to international university students and young professionals hosted by American companies… the experiences gained through Greenheart Exchange are vast and varied. Yet there is one thing that ties them all together –the acquisition of new perspectives, skills, and an awareness of connections that cross borders.
After speaking to people involved in these programs in a variety of ways, I noticed a recurring theme: international exchange has equipped each of them with new perspectives, a global understanding, and tools for breaking down barriers and overcoming obstacles.
Jamie Shaw, an American Host Parent with High School programs explains, “the culture and overall host parent experience, for me, has opened up so many new experiences and a questioning attitude for my own biological children! Our host daughter has made my teenager daughter more open and has shown her a positive leadership role as an empowering young woman.” Jamie is not alone. Look for our social posts this week to see how other Americans have seen their lives and communities enriched through exchanges.
“The culture and overall host parent experience, for me, has opened up so many new experiences and a questioning attitude for my own biological children! Our host daughter has made my teenager daughter more open and has shown her a positive leadership role as an empowering young woman.”
Exchange alumni return home just as enriched as those who host them. High School Program alumni, Keti Chitashvili, describes international education as “gaining knowledge, skills, and experience… that opens all the golden doors of life to freedom, confidence, and wellbeing.” Timotina Boakye divulges that participating in the Summer Work and Travel program “created an interest to learn more, and share more of my own country, our success and weaknesses as a nation, and also to make better decisions which will impact the world positively.”
Current TeachUSA participant, Cenon Mendoza, feels similarly transformed, explaining “this opportunity paved my way to experience different cultures, innovative instructional strategies, and student’s individuality. It serves as an instrument for me to go beyond my limits as a teacher and soar higher to become an even more effective one.” By broadening their perspectives, skills, and cultural understanding, each participant paints their experience as transformational and unique.
At Greenheart Exchange, #IEis experiences, conversations, and relationships that transcend geography, barriers, and ignorance. #IEis connection, revolutionary perspectives, and cross-cultural understanding. #IEis powerful – and makes this vast world feel a little bit smaller, more connected, and more hopeful.