by Molly Stern, Global Up Manager, AFS Intercultural Programs
This year I had the privilege of participating in the AFS Youth Assembly and overseeing the Climate Entrepreneurship track. I was responsible for coordinating participants from 30+ countries, ages 18-32 years old who brought their climate project aspirations to New York University (NYU) to convene for two days ahead of the general AFS Youth Assembly conference as part of a special program track. The participants all had the opportunity to take part in the Global Up Program to ground themselves in global competence education ahead of the conference and build friendships online before meeting in person. This was only one of three tracks that applicants could apply to and receive a scholarship to attend. Find out more.
One thing that stood out to me was that we had a tiny handful of students from the United States attending. Here I was witnessing the world coming together on these critical issues that undergraduates will experience over their lifetimes and I knew I needed to share this with our higher education partners that value intercultural learning opportunities for their students.
Therefore, consider this a SPECIAL INVITATION, to get involved in this phenomenal event. The next AFS Youth Assembly is August 2024. You could do this by:
- Organizing and sending a delegation of students, your university would be connected with 700 other delegates from over 100 countries and get to share and learn from different perspectives.
- Sharing our scholarship opportunities with your students (COMING SOON!)
- Consider speaking on a panel or facilitating a workshop during the conference to share your expertise and build your reputation.
Students who attend benefit by:
- Gaining a global perspective: Attending the AFS Youth Assembly is an international experience itself. The AFS Youth Assembly draws participants from over 100 countries, who attend sessions at the United Nations and build lifelong friendships after this shared experience. Participants acquire an expanded perspective on critical global issues.
- Finding a global community on topics that they’re most passionate about… Climate Change, Intercultural relations, Education, Ending poverty, any of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Students find champions from around the globe to build their network and begin collaborations.
- Having an opportunity for personal growth and empowerment. Youth Assembly participants often return from the event with a renewed sense of purpose, increased self-confidence, and a stronger commitment to making a difference in the world.
- Getting out of their familiar zones, challenging them to experience and better understand cultural differences, collaborate with diverse groups, and find their voices as global citizens. These experiences can be as transformative as a study abroad experience.