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It was 3 a.m. We had been traveling over 24 hours. As we presented our passports to immigration control in Tbilisi, Georgia, however, we were greeted with huge smiles, “Welcome to Georgia,” and presented with a bottle of Georgian wine. Exhaustion turned to excitement for the adventures to come.


The volunteers at Jvari Monastery (credit: Sarel Kromer)

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For most countries around the world, engaging youth in national politics is often a challenge. Kyrgyzstan, a burgeoning democracy in Central Asia, is no exception. Youth often feel disconnected from policymaking and feel they have no voice in their country’s future. As part of an effort to reduce youth unemployment and encourage youth inclusion, Kyrgyzstan introduced a new law in 2010 requiring a youth quota for political parties.

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“Knowing another language helps you understand the heart and soul of people,” Dr. Suleimenova said to the crowd. “Language is the medium of mutual understanding and a source of unity.”

Dr. Eleonora Suleimenova, an internationally renowned linguistics scholar, held a lecture at American Councils on the current state of language in Kazakhstan. Fellow linguists and the Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the United States, Mr. Kairat Umarov, came to hear Dr. Suleimenova speak about her expert knowledge of language policy in Kazakhstan.

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In an effort to evaluate the state of foreign language learning in the U.S. for the first time in 30 years, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) officially announced the formation of the Commission on Language Learning.

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Learning a Foreign Language a ‘Must’ in Europe, Not so in America
Pew Research Center

Europeans learn multiple languages before they reach high school while many Americans don’t even learn a second language in their lifetime.

This Pew Research Center report explores the link between foreign language study requirements in schools and multilingualism of the population. The results probably won’t surprise you.

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