2019 US-Russia Youth Exchange: Inspiring Social Change in the USA and Russia

 

Overview

We are proud to announce our new exchange program for youth, which will begin on September 9th, 2019 and will continue until the end of May, 2020. Inspiring Social Change in the USA and Russia will give high school students from the USA and Russia an opportunity to learn more about pressing social issues in their communities and understand the importance of non-profit organizations in each country. The program will include aspects of four thematic areas (Social Inclusion, Community Engagement and Volunteerism, Social Entrepreneurship, and Youth Engagement and Mentorship) as students will be divided into groups, each focused on a specific social issue (e.g. homelessness, mental health, elderly care, etc.). Each group will be a fictional non-profit within the pre-defined focus areas, and they will be aided and mentored by non-profit leaders along the way. This way, the participants will compare global best practices in non-profit management and think how they can apply them locally.

The program will have three main phases:

  • During phase I (September - October 2019), the student application process will be open. We will work with high school students from Columbus, OH, Surgut and Moscow. Teachers and non-profit experts from Russia and the USA will work together to create a program curriculum and schedule program activities in each country.

  • In phase II (November 2019 - February 2020), students will be placed into groups and will work to create fictional non-profit organizations based on community issues that they’ve researched. They will learn from guest speakers - experienced professionals from the non-profit sector. The student will also work together with their peers from abroad through regular online sessions. The goal for each group will be to create a non-profit model for their respective community and analyse how young people can make a change in the USA and Russia.

  • Phase III will take place in March, April and May 2020, where the most dedicated students will have the chance to participate in exchange trips abroad and meet their international peers and mentors. Volunteer activities in both USA and Russia will take place during this phase.


Whether students are interested in engaging in their community, developing leadership skills, or participating in intercultural exchange, this unique program provides numerous opportunities for personal growth and gaining valuable knowledge. Students will learn about differences and similarities in social needs from each community and how each country deals with its social issues, resulting in building strong leadership skills and critical thinking among the youth participants.

We would like to thank Eurasia Foundation for funding this amazing project! The mission of this foundation is to equip citizens to build resilient communities. We are confident that our program will contribute to this effort and serve as a mode of cultural diplomacy and international understanding.

Nonetheless, we are looking forward to working with our long-lasting Russian partner Lingua, the largest private international language school in Surgut, Western Siberia, Russia, who has partnered with the Columbus International Program since 2015.

Student application process will start on September 9, 2019! Check our website soon for further information!!