Alumni Updates

Learning Swahili brought Rebecca Gailey to Tanzania the first time. A dream has kept her coming back. “Ota,” the Swahili word for dream, inspired the name of the educational program she helped start in 2013, while she was still finishing her undergraduate studies.

Looking for a more intensive language experience, she applied for the Critical Language Scholarship Program that summer. The U.S. Department of State’s immersion program is designed for rapid language gains, just what Abena was looking for. But her application was not selected.
Undeterred, she applied again the following year.
This time, she was accepted.

Angela Gjekanovikj isn’t an ambassador yet, but she’s been practicing for years.
She was only a teenager when she traveled from Skopje, Macedonia, to Bakersfield, California, to start her academic year abroad with the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study program.

A quick glance at Keti Bochorishvili’s resume shows many impressive entries, including her latest title: CEO. But when she thinks about her path to success, Keti says it all started when she was 16. That was the year she applied for the Future Leaders Exchange Program, a then relatively new opportunity in her home country of Georgia, which allowed secondary school students to spend an academic year in the United States.

Laura Garvie has called many places home, including the “Paris of East Java,” Malang, Indonesia. She attributes her professional-level language skills to her semester-long study through the Indonesian Overseas Program (IOP) in 2016. Laura is currently pursuing a master’s degree and continuing to connect with the Indonesian community in her current home, Paris, France.

Danica has been passionate about languages for as long as she can remember. When she enrolled in Arizona State University, she originally intended to study Spanish. However, the Chinese Language Flagship program at ASU, designed to lead toward professional fluency in Mandarin, altered her course.

When Jelena Jevtic first heard about the U.N. Youth Assembly, she wasn’t sure if she should apply.

This year’s Top 30 Under 30 Ukrainian Leaders includes politicians, entrepreneurs, athletes, and two Future Leaders Exchange Program alumni.

Ulukbek Abdubaliev, a 2015 fellow in the U.S.-Central Asia Education Foundation Enterprise Student Fellowship Program, is part of the team that won the Smart Civis competition. The contest is hosted by the nonprofit, The Common Good, and is open to students at Italian universities...

The Kyrgyzstan native entered while he was on an Erasmus exchange semester in Milan through his master's program.

There were about 100 other entries in the competition and Mr. Abdubaliev said it wasn’t until they arrived at the awards ceremony that they believed their MI-Care health card concept had a chance.
“We knew that [our idea] was not something that was innovative,” he said. “But at the same time it was something that Milan really needed.”


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