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Mariyam learned about grassroots initiatives as an exchange student six years ago. She’s been using those skills in her home community in Pakistan ever since, and this year, she mentored the latest group of exchange students who will soon return home to apply their own skills.

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Victorialyn Keay studied abroad in Almaty, Kazakhstan in the fall of 2017, through the Advanced Russian Language and Area Studies Program. Connecting with locals, especially her host mom, helped her learn about a new culture. It also gave her a new appreciation for her American culture. She brings this cultural understanding and interest in public diplomacy to her current role at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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The camp offers exchange program semi-finalists two weeks of intensive English training and preparation before their academic year abroad in the United States, and last month the camp included a visit from U.S. Ambassador to Senegal, Dr. Tulibano Mushingi. 

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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.

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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.
 

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