Sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Aspen Institute’s J. Christopher Stevens Virtual Exchange Initiative has announced thirteen new grants to expand the Initiative’s reach to 30,000 students in 17 countries in the Middle East and North Africa and 29 states in the United States. The Stevens Initiative uses online, collaborative learning to increase cross-cultural understanding and equip young people with the skills needed to thrive in a 21st century economy. Most programs will launch in Fall 2017 and continue through the end of 2018.
The projects include:
- An entrepreneurship program for students in Michigan, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia to develop an idea and enhance their pitches;
- An engineering program addressing common environmental and public policy challenges through collaboration between students in Arizona and the Palestinian Territories;
- A virtual design studio that connects bioengineering students in Maryland and the Palestinian Territories to develop low-cost healthcare solutions;
- A program that uses virtual exchange to improve global citizenship and problem-solving skills among hospitality students in the United States and Jordan.
Virtual exchange is an educational approach that uses technology to help young people learn key career and global skills, including collaboration with international peers, digital literacy, and language skills. The Stevens Initiative is an international effort to grow and enhance the field of virtual exchange, and to build career and global competence skills for young people in the United States and the Middle East and North Africa. The Initiative honors the legacy of Ambassador Chris Stevens, who devoted his life to building bridges between people from different cultures.
To see a full list of the 2017-2018 grantees, click here.