This month, One World Youth Project has recruited over fifty new university student volunteers from each of our partner universities after sorting through a flood of applications from interested students. Curious about the high interest among students in our partner schools, we asked the applicants why they signed up for the program. Their responses?
”Challenging students to expand their views outside of their typical personal bubbles by directly connecting them to global peers will allow them to be respectful to other people’s beliefs and practices” -Project Ambassador, Washington D.C., U.S.A.
“Having experienced living abroad and studying abroad I understand the importance of global awareness built through interacting with others. I want to pass that on.” -Project Ambassador, Boston, U.S.A.
“I have a keen interest in working alongside other university students from around the world, to make the outer world accessible to my community.” -Project Ambassador, Georgetown, Guyana
“I’m excited to interact with other people around the world and build cross-cultural relationships, and also act as a link to other countries among students who don’t have access to technology and media.” -Project Ambassador, Islamabad, Pakistan
“Even though people live very far from each other and may belong to different religions and cultures, they will realize through this project that they all have the same rights, same capabilities and common goals.” -Project Ambassador, Prishtina, Kosovo
“It would be an amazing experience to communicate with people around the world, and this is an original way. I am keen on taking part in anything that is international and allows us to connect with others that we wouldn’t ordinarily meet.” -Project Ambassador, Istanbul, Turkey
All of these reasons and motivations have a common thread: a desire for a connection. A student’s connection with his/her surrounding community, and a connection with peers from other countries. We’re seeing university students from the U.S., Kosovo, Turkey, Guyana and Pakistan eagerly apply for the Project Ambassador position with the same fundamental goal: to impact lives by connecting people. The opportunity for technology-facilitated international exchange wasn’t there for their parents and the generation before them, but it is available for them now and they are taking advantage of it.
“Many of our university students sign up for our program because they want to bring the world to students and youth in their community,” said Cady Voge, Program Director. “It’s been really inspiring hearing university students all around the world say they really think students in their community need an international experience for their next steps in life, and how they came to this common mission from such different places.”
Every layer of One World Youth Project, from the international network of universities, to the collaborative platforms for university students, to participating university students connecting with the local community, down to the technology-facilitated international exchange between our secondary school participants, is saturated with human-to-human interactions. And this year One World Youth Project will be connecting 60 university students and over 200 secondary school students globally in international exchange.
Groups of university students from six universities around the world have been recruited and are now undergoing a six-week Online Training Course to build the knowledge base and skill-sets needed for their roles as global education facilitators. Through the online course and upcoming in-person trainings, OWYP student leaders will learn how to instruct a global competence curriculum in local secondary schools, facilitate cross-cultural dialogue among their students and and inspire global citizenship in their communities. Stay tuned.