Thursday, November 05, 2015

Great Travel Opportunity for High School Students

Via Chief Sealth International social studies teacher, Noah Zeichner:

The U.S. Youth Ambassadors Program with South America offers two separate three-week leadership exchanges abroad for U.S. teenagers ages 15-17 and adult mentors: one to Brazil and one to Argentina & Chile.

The application is due November 30Step-by-step instructions
 
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the programs aim to develop a cadre of young adults in the United States who have a strong sense of civic responsibility, a commitment to their communities, an awareness of current and global issues, and strong interpersonal leadership skills. The programs aim to promote mutual understanding, respect, and collaboration between the United States and South America.
Program Structure

Both programs will begin in Washington, DC where the group of students will unite for the first time for a two-day Pre-Departure Orientation. The orientation will focus on getting to know one another through team-builders and icebreakers, as well as program expectations, shared goals, cultural norms, cross-cultural communication, and culture shock.

The USYA Brazil exchange will fly from Washington, DC to Brasilia where they will be greeted by staff for the U.S. Embassy. For the first four to five days, the group will be learn more about the planned activities in Brazil, take survival Portuguese lessons, visit local high schools, give cultural presentations on the United States, and work on action planning for their follow-on projects.

From there, the group will be split into two host communities (to be announced), where students will stay with host families for 11 nights. As a group, students will be further exposed to Brazilian culture, learning about music, food, and through activities with local youth. Time will also be devoted to more action planning in preparation for their project presentations in Rio.

To conclude, the groups will reunite in Rio de Janiero for four days where students will share out on their host community experience, explore cultural highlights, and present their project plans at the U.S. Consulate.

The USYA Argentina & Chile exchange will similarly fly from Washington, DC to Santiago, Chile for program orientation. Students will be exposed to Chilean culture, visit local high schools, give cultural presentations on the United States, and work on action planning for their follow-on projects.

From there, the group will split into two host communities: one in Chile and one in Salta, Argentina where students will stay with host families for 1 1 nights. As a group, students will be further exposed to the culture of their host community, learning about music, food, and through more visits with local youth. Time will also be devoted to more action planning in preparation for their project presentations in Buenos Aires.

To conclude, the groups will reunite in Buenos Aires, Argentina where students explore the city, visit the U.S. Embassy, and present their project plans to implement upon their return home to the United States. Much of the program will take place in Spanish.

Student Eligibility

* open to high school students nation-wide;
* be at least 15 years old but not more than 17 years old at the start of the program in April 2016;
* must have one year of high school remaining following their return home (Seniors are not eligible to apply);
* have a high school graduation year of 2017 or later;
* attend a public high school;
* have no previous travel experience outside of North America;
* have intermediate level of Spanish (for Argentina & Chile exchange only);
* have permission from both parents or legal guardians to participate in the exchange program in South America;
* have citizenship and current residency in the United States;
* have not participated nor traveled on an ECA-funded program within one academic year or the last three years, respectively; and
* not be related ECA Youth Programs Division staff member nor of an employee of an organization responsible for implementing the exchange

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