Young Turkey/Young America Exchange Program for Future Leaders, Deadline: February 7

World Learning (WL) in partnership with the Foreign Policy Platform (FPP)-Turkey will implement in 2010 the Young Turkey/Young America: A New Relationship for a New Age, Political Challenges for Future Leaders program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State (http://www.worldlearning.org/dosyoungera.cfm). The overall program goal is to support and promote the participation of young Turkish and American leaders in a transatlantic dialogue on foreign policy issues. Through the program, 14 young emerging leaders from Turkey and 14 young emerging leaders from the U.S. will gain knowledge and leadership skills to become more engaged in their communities, and get to know each other’s country, as well as learn about each group members’ ethnically, religiously, and nationally diverse background.  Each participant from Turkey will be paired, for the entire program, with an American in the program.  The pair will be in home stays in their partner’s respective home and  arrange job shadowing and a volunteer project  in each other’s country.   A joint project created and carried out by the pair throughout 2010 will be included.

The program is comprised of a trip by the group from Turkey to the US in May 2010 followed by a trip by the Americans to Turkey in November of this year.

For the first segment, fourteen grantees from Turkey will travel to the United States for a three week long experiential program that includes interactive seminars, mini-internships and visits with think tanks and U.S. government offices.  The US portion of the program is divided into four components:

  • The program will start in Washington DC.  Both the US and the grantees from Turkey will participate in a joint week-long program focused on foreign policy
  • After the DC based segment, each Turkish grantee will travel to and stay with his/her American peer.  The American participant will arrange a program in his hometown for his counterpart to include job shadowing and a volunteer activity.
  • The Turkish group will reconvene in Cleveland, Ohio to look at multiculturalism and local politics.
  • The program for the participants from Turkey will end in Washington, DC during which the bi-national teams will participate in an action-planning meeting with the U.S. counterpart connected by skype .

Over the summer following the Turkish visit to the US, each pair of Turkish and American participants will continue to work on their joint project.  The two groups will meet again, in November 2010, in Ankara for a two-week program which will include:

  • The group of Americans and grantees from Turkey will participate in a series of meetings with government and nongovernmental officials with the focus on foreign policy.
  • During the next program segment each American grantee will travel to and stay with his/her counterpart for a few days.  Similar to the segment in the US, the  host team member will arrange a program for his/her American guest  to include job shadowing, a volunteer activity and opportunities to get to know the local community.
  • The program will end in Istanbul with training workshops and action planning.

Accommodation in Turkey will include double-occupancy hotel and youth centers as well as home-stays with Turkish families and peers. A small stipend will be provided during the participants’ time in Turkey to cover basic incidental expenses. The cost of international and domestic travel, program -related ground transportation, and all the other programmatic and logistical arrangements will be covered by the project.

The American program participants will be selected from emerging leaders, age 21-35, involved/interested in international affairs from governmental and non-governmental organizations, NGOs with youth development focus, universities, active politicians, journalists, businesspeople, think tanks, and/or cultural figures. Diversity is particularly crucial for this program.  To select the best candidates, we will review applications based on clearly defined criteria, including:

  • Proven commitment to democracy, pluralism, nonviolence, and a free society
  • Openness to dialogue and new ideas
  • Good potential to play an increasingly important role in the U.S. society;
  • Interest in participating in the program and sharing the experience with colleagues and the public.

U.S. participants need to commit to join their Turkish counterparts during the Washington, DC program; host them in their homes for a few days; participate in the action-planning skype meeting at the end of the U.S. –based segment; take part in the Turkey based program, and work on a joint project.

Preference would be given to applicants who have a strong interest in Turkey and/or the region and have not previously visited the country.

Application Deadline: February 7
For more information, including how to get an application form, please contact Vlad Spencer at Vladimir.Spencer@worldlearning.org.

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