Youth for Understanding Announced the “Intercultural Virtual Exchange”
The Intercultural Virtual Exchange provides youth the opportunity to engage in cultural dialogueJuly 20th, 2016
Cultural exchange is as important as ever; it allows individuals to engage in cultural dialogue and experience different cultures. Founded in 1951, the Youth for Understanding (YFU) aims to alter perceptions and change existing cultural stereotypes.
In 2016, FYU announced the creation of a Virtual Exchange Initiative to expand its mission to advance intercultural understanding, mutual respect, and social reasonability through educational exchanges for youth, families and communities. The program encourages open, public dialogue between teenagers in the United States, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
The YFU provides high school students the opportunity to go study abroad. YFU alumni cite their time as international exchange students as one of the most important and adventurous time in their life. An YFU alumnus states, “A passionate belief in the benefits of intercultural exchange inspires us now to make the model stronger still – and extend it to meet the needs and aspirations of people who may never be able to participate in a traditional exchange.”
FYU’s virtual program aims to be inclusive in nature, ensuring a voice is given to young women, minorities, migrants and underrepresented students. YFU’s Theory of Change asserts that underserved youth should have access to the benefits of physical exchange. The program’s activities can bring personal growth and empowerment opportunities for individuals. These benefits can result in community engagement for peaceful interaction and encouragement of youth leaders to emerge and become peer mentors to others.
Participants of the YFU’s Virtual Exchange Initiative are invited to engage with students from around the world in a safe environment, one that contributes to the development of cross-cultural understanding and the creation of a sense of community.