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New support for BridgeUSA Program

Two major exchange non-profits have announced that they are spearheading the annual fund for summer work travel and scholarships in the US for students in nine European countries.

The Council on International Education Exchange and InterExchange have been selected to “administer” BridgeUSA's Ambassadors Fund for Summer Work Travel program. Photo: iStock

Successful grantees will broaden their global awareness, and gain lifelong connections to the world and the US

The Council on International Education Exchange and InterExchange have been selected to “administer” BridgeUSA’s Ambassadors Fund for Summer Work Travel program.

The fund will provide full scholarships, along with travel expenses, for up to 120 students in the nine countries.

Sponsored by the US State Department, recipients go to the US for up to four months during the summer, and are matched with host employers in “seasonal communities” in the country, working in entry-level jobs.

“We are excited to support the BridgeUSA Program and the important public diplomacy goals they fulfil,” said Casey Slamin, senior VP of programs at InterExchange told The PIE News.

“Successful grantees will broaden their global awareness, and gain lifelong connections to the world and the United States of America, one person at a time, one experience at a time,” Slamin added.

The students will be selected from institutions in Albania, Bulgaria, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Ukraine.

Applications for the program closed on December 1, and the initiative will go ahead in the summer of 2022.

The Summer Work Travel scholarship scheme says that the goal is “enhancing mutual understanding and supporting public diplomacy efforts between the US and young people from other countries”.

Those who go to the US and are matched with host employers will work and live with people of the US and other international students so as to promote the sharing of “daily experiences”.

“We believe that this is a terrific opportunity for young people to learn about the US”

CIEE said it was also looking forward to “welcoming scholarship winners” next summer.

“We believe that this is a terrific opportunity for young people to learn about the US and to share their own culture with Americans,” said CIEE’s VP of professional exchange programs Phil Simon.

“The Ambassadors Fund aligns with the CIEE mission: to humanise international relations and foster peace through international education and exchange programs that promote intercultural understanding,” Simon added.

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