News

Half of Kosovo’s population is under the age of 30, but according to Brikena, Kosovo’s youth feel their voice doesn’t matter.

Brikena Avdyli, a native Kosovar, is working tirelessly to change that. “Only when we see one another as equals can we start working together to contribute to a better future for our city, country, and ultimately, the world,” says Brikena. “This belief, which seems naïve some days, is the reason I choose to work with youth, women, and people with disabilities.”

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Branko Backovic, a dynamic and motivated student from Despotovac, Serbia, worked hard to pass three rigorous rounds of competition to win an A-SMYLE scholarship. He spent the 2006-07 academic year in the U.S. living with a host family in Lisle, Illinois.

Now a graduate of Yale University, Branko works in the financial services industry in New York and is dedicated to helping other students from Serbia.

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Not a Small World After All
Inside Higher Ed

Enrollments in foreign language courses in the U.S. have decreased by 6.7 percent since 2009—after increasing steadily since 1995—according to a new report by our colleagues at the Modern Language Association (MLA).

Language advocates investigate what caused the drop and debate whether it is the beginning of a new trend of moving away from foreign language study.

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Karen Smith, American Councils Country Director for Armenia, is a big supporter of youth initiatives and cooperation with youth organizations in the country. She often devotes her personal time to share expertise with Armenian students and young professionals interested in learning about other cultures, applying new ideas, and developing professional skills.

Karen conducted two workshops in February for students and young professionals at the Leadership School Foundation and American Corner Yerevan.

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Using their foreign language skills and a little creativity, a group of FLEX alumni in Dushanbe, Tajikistan hosted an art auction, raising over $1,000 to support children with disabilities at the Hissor School Orphanage in the capital.

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