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Summer camp might spark memories of sleeping in cabins, playing endless games of softball, and roasting s’mores around a campfire somewhere in the heart of America.

But this time, summer camp took place in the heart of Ethiopia.

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What happens when youth from Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan meet up for two weeks of summer camp in the mountains of Turkey? Two weeks of new friendships, cross-cultural immersion, and leadership activities—all while speaking entirely in English.

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In the stately Longworth House Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.—where Congressional Representatives and their staff work and convene—over 50 people gathered to attend a briefing held by the International Exchange and Study Caucus. The event focused on the importance of international exchange and study programs, particularly those sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Intercultural and Educational Affairs (ECA).

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By Christopher T. Barber, YES Program Participant Recruiter

An accent from the American south is quite peculiar: the elongation of vowels and shortening of consonants, all said in a nonchalant, yet formal eccentricity, is reminiscent of the United States’ British ancestors.

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At the Eastern-Europe FLEX-Ability Workshop in Kvareli, Georgia, 62 alumni of the Future Leaders of Exchange program known as FLEX gathered at the Ministry of Justice Training Center. Alumni representing the past nine years of the FLEX program travelled to the workshop from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine with a shared goal: take a community need and transform it into a social enterprise using entrepreneurial skills, technology, and STEAM techniques. (STEAM is science, technology, engineering, and math, plus arts.)

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