Benefits of Cultural Exchanges

Kristina Koprivica and Bojan Francuz returned from FLEX program (at the time the program’s name was A-SMYLE) ten years ago and this is a story they wrote for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette / ArkansasOnline.com (the oldest continuously published newspaper west of the Mississippi River!) about how this U.S. government-sponsored exchange program impacted their and lives of the people they encountered in the U.S..

In her Facebook post, Kristina wrote this:

“Ten years ago, as Facebook is quick to remind us, my dear friend Bojan Francuz and I were 17 years old and had just returned to our homes in Serbia from an exchange year in the United States.

We are of a generation that does not have happy memories or a good image of the US. We grew up visiting the museum which houses the remains of a downed American fighter jet that dropped bombs over Serbia just as we were enrolled in primary school. We knew of the difficulties of obtaining a visa for travel abroad. Yet, beyond Hollywood screens, we knew very little about life abroad or in the United States.

A year spent living with American host families and becoming an integral part of our American host communities changed this. Our host families took care of us as one of their own.

We didn’t know it then, but taking part in the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program would become an undercurrent of everything we have done in our lives since. 

At a time when societies across the world seem to be falling apart and universal values questioned, it is important for us to speak up in defense of cultural exchange.”

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Macedonia Welcomes Nine New Alumni

By Bojan Aleksovski, YES 2013-2014, Macedonia, hosted by AFS in Chelmsford, MA

Every year, approximately one month after program participants return home, American Councils’ alumni coordinators conduct re-entry seminars for new alumni.  The newest generation of nine YES alumni returned to Macedonia on June 15, and their re-entry seminar was held June 26-27 in Skopje. The purpose of the re-entry seminar was to welcome the students home, give them the opportunity to analyze their development during their year abroad, discuss problems they may face adjusting to life at home, and introduce them to the alumni community. With the newest generation, Macedonia has a total of 112 alumni.

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During the first day of the seminar, the alumni looked back at their experience on the YES program and shared what they love and miss most about the U.S. and what they love and missed most about Macedonia. After looking back, the participants discussed everything that has changed while they were on the program and how have they changed. Each of the alumni presented his or her “new self” in front of the group, including new interests, hobbies, and roles in the family and local community. Alumni discussed reverse culture shock and any problems they had been having or anticipated having with readjustment. They then learned about all of the resources and opportunities available to them as YES alumni.

The first day also included an alumni panel in which four YES alumni of past generations and one YES Abroad alumnus who happened to be in Macedonia during the seminar shared their readjustment experiences and tips for overcoming challenges and using the year abroad as a positive foundation for the future. The panelists also shared their favorite events and projects organized by the YES alumni community in Macedonia.

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On the second day of the seminar, the alumni had the opportunity to share their experiences with and receive advice and encouragement from Benjamin R. Lingeman, Assistant Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy Macedonia, Rebekah Brown, Communication Officer at American Councils in Washington, D.C., and Rebecca Strattan, Senior Program Officer for Secondary School Programs at American Councils in Belgrade!

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The alumni also spent time developing ideas for small community projects, which they will conduct in July and August. The re-entry concluded with a community service activity in which the participants painted pictures inspired by their U.S. experiences on small canvases. Some of the paintings will be donated to the local children’s hospital and others will be sold and the funds collected to support a local charity.

Following the seminar, the alumni shared that they now feel ready to face readjustment and are eager to begin to change their communities with the many projects they will organize.

Molly’s Prom night

By Molly Maahs, YES Abroad PY2017-2018, Macedonia

High School graduation in Macedonia is synonymous to Prom. Here it is called “matura” which signifies the coming of age for a typical student. The festivities are much more grand than a “prom” at home. I was lucky enough to join the 4th year IB class from Gimnazija Josip Broz Tito for the very special evening.

It started in the morning when everyone gets ready. The hair, nails, and makeup were professionally done.

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In the evening around 10 pm, on a Tuesday in late May, the students, friends, and families gathered in front of the venue (a hotel) and danced outside to the music of the trubaci band playing various traditional songs. There was fireworks and a general extreme enthusiasm in the atmosphere. The senior students, of course, were dressed in very elegant ball gowns and tuxedos.

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When we went inside to dance we also had the dinner. There were traditional appetizers, the meal, and desserts. I was too stuffed to dance to the Macedonian folk music, but everyone totally got their groove on. Many professors are also there to celebrate with their students, and some group photos were taken.

At 1 AM the dance ended and the students picked up where they left off at the club. The school actually rents it out for the seniors. Until 5 AM I lasted before I was too tired to move my feet in heels for much longer. I taxied home, but for the other students, the night went on.

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When daylight approached, they took taxis to our local mountain, Vodno.  They watch the sunrise before going to school for another trubaci celebration there because it was then Wednesday morning! At school they hug their teachers goodbye because they are finished with the secondary career.

I am so thankful to be welcomed into a community who celebrates besides me as one of their own. Though I already graduated, being a part of another ceremony was something I didn’t expect, but however, this time around the experience was still completely new.

Job Opportunity: YES Programs Local Coordinator (Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Hiring

Job Location: Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Position Type: Full-Time, Undetermined Term (after initial probationary period)
Preferred Start Date: August 1, 2018

Description:

The YES Programs Local Coordinator is responsible for functions related to implementation of the Kennedy-
Lugar YES and YES Abroad programs in Banja Luka, while supporting and aiding the Country Representative in Sarajevo when needed. The position reports to the Country Representative in Sarajevo, and works in conjunction with Washington-based program managers and colleagues in Southeast Europe.

About American Councils:

American Councils for International Education is an international not-for-profit organization working to advance education, research, and mutual understanding across the United States and the nations of Eastern Europe, Eurasia, and Southeast Europe. Its mission is to foster democratic development and civil societies by advancing education and research, cultivating leadership, and empowering individuals and institutions through learning. With a staff of over 450 professionals in over 60 countries, American Councils designs, implements, and supports innovative programs in education, community outreach and scholarly research.

YES and YES Abroad program:

The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program provides scholarships for high school students to spend up to one academic year in the U.S. where they live with host families, attend high school, engage in activities to learn about American society and values, and help educate Americans about their countries and cultures. The program is focused on countries with significant Muslim populations and is a democratic response to the events of September 11, 2001, providing a deeper understanding between cultures.

The YES Abroad program was initiated as a reciprocal extension of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program for American students doing an exchange program in countries with significant Muslim populations.

JOB RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Coordinate the YES Abroad Program in Banja Luka including: host family and host school recruitment,
    activities with students like orientations, cultural events and volunteer opportunities and on-program
    support.
  • Support the implementation of the YES program including: promoting and advertising, assisting in all
    rounds of testing; organizing various program events; local visa support, preparing student departure
    and arrival.
  • Assist in the implementation of other programs of the organization, as required;
  • Other duties as assigned.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent, in a relevant field of study
  • Eligible for employment in Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Minimum 2 years’ experience in exchange program administration or position with similar duties
  • Outstanding time management, organization and planning skills
  • Demonstrated excellence in communication and multicultural interpersonal skills
  • Fluent in English and one or more local languages
  • Familiarity with the education system in Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Experience traveling under difficult conditions
  • Flexibility to occasional work on weekends and evenings
  • Experience in budget management
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office software suite and common social media platforms

REPORTS TO: Country Representative

DEADLINE for applications submission: June 17, CEST 23:59.
Preferred Start Date: August 1, 2018

To apply, click the link below and submit your application (including resume and cover letter) by June 17, 2018 (23:59 CEST).

apply-now-large

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY

American Councils is committed to taking affirmative steps to enhance employment opportunities for minorities, women, veterans, and people with disabilities, and strives to ensure that meaningful employment and promotional opportunities are maintained for everyone. American Councils’ commitment to equal employment opportunity is based not only on federal requirements, but also on a longstanding commitment to maintaining a diverse workforce reflective of the communities in which we operate.

PAY TRANSPARENCY NONDISCRIMINATION PROVISION

The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information.

Public Speaking Workshops and Speech Competition

By Christina Carrington, YES Abroad PY2017-2018, Macedonia

Molly and I were so thankful to join our school community at Josip Broz Tito Gimnazija. The students in our class welcomed us with open arms and our teachers, especially our coordinator Gordiana, were always there to support us. After we got used to the school system, Molly and I began getting involved in our classes beyond just attending class. We decided to get involved from teaching math, theory of knowledge, English, geography, and visual arts classes to organizing a skype call with another YES student in Indonesia. We even discussed our experiences applying to US colleges and created a guide to submitting a stellar application. This was all fun, but Molly and I wanted to make a greater impact on the school. We approached Gordiana and naturally, because of all the presentations we do at the school, we decided to do something about public speaking. But what? Gordiana suggested the idea of public speaking seminars and at the end holding a speech competition so the students could apply the information they learned from us. Molly and I were immediately on board with the idea.

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Molly and I spent a lot of time doing research by reading teaching manuals and watching ted talks about creating speeches. We even hung posters around the school and went to every class to announce the workshops. I enjoyed not just working together with Molly to plan the presentations but also getting to spend more time with my friend. Even though the goal of this project was to help the students, Molly and I grew not only in our problem solving and teaching skills but also in our friendship.

After all the work, we created a series of three workshops: tips for delivering an effective presentation and reducing anxiety about public speaking; how to effectively use visuals and create an engaging slideshow; and using organization and persuasive techniques, ethos; pathos; and logos, in a speech. We spread the workshops out with one every week. I was nervous for the first one, but I was ecstatic when I saw the student turn out. Students not just from our IB class but from other classes in the school had come to listen to us, and in total we had about 30 students. Our coordinator Vesna even came to cheer us on.

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While keeping the workshops educational, we also had some laughs and tried to give public speaking tips the students hadn’t heard. For example, we read a study about how standing in a position of power, such as a wonder woman pose, increases the release of confidence hormones. In an experiment, those who stood in a power pose before an interview, versus those who didn’t, were significantly more likely to be hired. So, we had the students stand up and imitate a wonder woman pose. We recommended they do it before speaking publicly to increase their confidence and improve their delivery.

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Molly and I had a lot of fun with these seminars. But, then came time for the competition. Don’t get me wrong, I was very excited to hear the student’s speeches, but I was also worried. I was afraid that students would not want to sign up for the competition either because of their fear of public speaking or not having time to make a speech with the loads of homework they have. However, I was pleasantly surprised. We had 15 students sign up and each one did great. The speeches were so good that the time flew as Molly and I listen and judged each one. We gave the students the freedom to choose their own topic, which made it even more interesting for us to hear the presentations. Each student chose a topic they were passionate about and it really showed.

In the end we had the award ceremony with the best speeches, one pair and one individual presentation, winning prizes. We had support from Shalom Konstantino at the Public Affairs Sector of the US Embassy who generously donated prizes. We then gave out certificates we made ourselves, with the help of Vesna, to all the participants. I was not only happy to help the students at Josip Broz, but also proud of all those who made amazing speeches.

TOEFL Tips and Tricks – a free course in Serbia

BELL+ program invites you to apply for a free of charge course “TOEFL Tips and Tricks” to be held at American Corners in Belgrade, Kragujevac, Novi Sad and Vranje.

BELL+ is a program funded by the Embassy of the U.S.A. in Serbia, and organized by American Councils for International Education in cooperation with American Corners in Serbia.

Apply HERE.

Application deadline: April 23, 2018.

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Officially Part of Kansas State’s Senate History!

I am Vesa Sherifi, an exchange student from Macedonia, placed in Kansas City Missouri. Being from such a small place as Macedonia, you want to talk to people about your country all the time and inform them more and more. The YES program has given me this opportunity in the best was possible where through all these months I had the chance to talk to little kids, middle-school kids, teenagers, young-adult and a lot of other group of people.

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This time, after I applied through my placement organization AFS, I had the chance to share my YES experience and talk about Macedonia to senators and the Governor of Kansas State. Couple of weeks ago, I had the honor and I was lucky enough to get chosen by the Senate of Kansas State to work as a page for a day on the floor of the Legislature. IMG_0786-1 (2)-min

 

This experience was one of the most beautiful and excited ones. We were hosted by the Senator Julia Lynn, who teared up when she heard about our stories, about being an exchange students, about our mission and especially the struggles of winning such a scholarship. I got the opportunity to learn more about the American Government and at the same time talk to a lot of Senate workers about AFS, about the YES Program and about Macedonia. The most amazing moment of that day was when Senator Julia Lynn, in front of the whole Senate introduced me and called me and other foreign exchange students “Ambassadors” of our countries. She teared up again while sharing our stories and that was followed with a standing ovation from everyone in the Senate Chamber.

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After a few days, I got a mail where Ms. Julia Lynn sent me the Journal of the Senate of that day and said that I was part of their history now, by being mention in it!

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Once again I saw what a beautiful thing is to be and exchange student, what an honor is to be the one who connects two different places and most importantly it reminded me that our mission here is very valuable and important for both, our home countries and United States itself.

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The Power of Compromise

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By: Josie K., YES Abroad 2017-2018

Bosnia and Herzegovina

You never know the meaning of the word “compromise” until you are locked in a room with twenty-seven other students––representing the United States of America, the Russian Federation, the State of Israel, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and countless other nations––and you have to work towards one goal: how to combat and react to cyberattacks.

Over the course of two days I, along with many other students from around the globe, found the opportunity to do just that at a recent Model United Nations (MUN) conference in Mostar, hosted by United World College (UWC) students. As I am currently studying abroad in Sarajevo, I was able to represent my school, Druga Gimnazija, alongside my fellow exchange student Haley. The opportunity, both fantastic and slightly enigmatic (as I had absolutely no idea what the conference would entail), forced me to spend many evenings researching my own country’s view on cybersecurity and control of small arms in post-conflict zones, no small feat as I represented a controversial nation in the committee: The State of Israel.

When we arrived to Mostar, we were immediately greeted with a speech by Guillaume Rousson, the French ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as several stunning performances by the UWC students. We were warmly approached by a number of students, who similarly expressed their excitement for the following day’s committee sessions, where many of the world’s problems were set to be resolved in closed rooms by students from around the world.

The following day was nothing but excitement and anxiety for many as opening speeches were made, rebuttals were composed, blocs were formed, and resolutions were drafted. Following over ten hours of committee sessions and lobbying, my committee–the Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC)–successfully passed two resolutions in which the internet was banned to combat cybersecurity and governments initiated strict arms control aimed at deweaponization through confiscation of illegal arms to combat illegal arms sales in post-conflict zones. Although banning the internet may not necessarily be seen as a solution to cyber-attacks (yes this resolution did pass), I learned two extremely important lessons easily applicable to any exchange year: be flexible and have fun.

Both in my daily life and at the conference, I found myself expecting an event to go one way and having it go entirely the opposite. Public transportation, for example, is an incredibly important aspect of life for any citizen of Sarajevo. Yet, throughout the year, I have found it to be at times unreliable, with my daily bus often breaking down. I am forced to adapt to the circumstance and find an alternative mode of transportation or risk being late to the coffee date I have planned. As a result, I know the walk to school like the back of my hand and, in the end, even prefer walking rather than taking the bus.

At the conference, I prepared a resolution with other nations in my committee who had similar viewpoints. Collectively, the bloc I joined created a sound and reasonable resolution, lacking irrational clauses. We felt sure it would pass with flying colors, however, as we began to present the resolution, other nations consistently argued and debated various clauses, ultimately resulting in a narrow failure during the voting procedure. As a committee we were forced to move on to the next resolution, in which many representatives from my bloc debated in a similar manner. Through the intense debating, the DISEC committee was able to compromise and create an ultimate solution to problem. Though I had not expected the original resolution to fail, myself and others from my block worked to resolve any issues we saw to devise a peaceful and coherent solution.

Although passing a resolution was necessary, and arriving on time is important, I found enjoying my time and laughing at the mistakes to be far more essential. Although the walk to school can be long, I have met many locals along the walk and have built connections with them, even going out for coffee following our conversations and stroll. At the conference it was no different. I found myself laughing until my stomach hurt during a karaoke night, hiding from water guns during a surprise “co-ops attack,” and participating in the talent show while representing America. I had come to try and solve some of the world’s greatest issues, and although I found it important to focus, I found it equally important to enjoy the people around me and establish relationships with those who shared similar values.

Overall, the Model UN Conference in Mostar further emphasized many of the lessons I have learned throughout my (almost) eight months here in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Although the committee did not manifest how I had originally thought, it allowed me to meet new people, create new friendships, and build resolutions with the ultimate goal of making the world a better place.

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Travelling to Prague, Dresden, and Vienna with Josip Broz Tito High School

By Christina Carrington, YES Abroad PY2017-2018, Macedonia

 

I stood at the center of the crowd as we all pushed and shoved each other in a competition to see who will get closest to the door of the bus. We were about to embark on a 24 hour bus ride to Prague, and all of us students wanted the best seats next to our friends. When the teachers finally gave the signal to board the bus, my friends and I ran on and successfully found seats together. This was the beginning of Josip Broz Tito High School’s annual school trip for third year students, and Molly and I were excited we were given the chance to join.

To be honest, I was really worried about the long bus ride. I usually dread riding in buses or cars for over an hour, not to mention a whole day. But, as the bus’s engine started my friends and I started talking and continued to do so for the entire ride, only taking breaks in the conversation to sleep of course. Some students even brought speakers on the bus and everyone took turns playing their favorite songs while others sang along. We also all shared snacks throughout the ride and my friend, Nadija, even brought gluten free snacks just for me. At one point, the bus stopped in front of McDonald’s, a chain they don’t have in Macedonia. All the eager students crowded the fast food joint with lines to order stretching across the entire restaurant. After having dinner, one of my friends, Angela, even ordered chicken nuggets to take with her on the bus. Despite having a lot of fun with my friends on the bus, I was relieved when we arrived at the hotel.

The moment I found out I would go on the trip, Nadija, Angela, and I knew we would room together. Sharing a room with them was like having an extended sleepover where we talked each night until we all fell asleep. After arriving, we settled into our room and went to the mall. I found out that for some of the students, their main motivation to go on the trip was to buy clothes from the malls we visit. Clothes are cheaper in other countries than in Macedonia, so my classmates bought bags and bags full of new shoes and outfits.

After the mall, our class gathered again and we explored Prague from a boat tour on the Vltava River. The tour guide described the rich history of the city and pointed out historical monuments as we passed them.

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The next day we toured Prague, visiting the towering spires of St. Vitus Cathedral, the Old Town, the St. Charles Bridge, the Prague Castle, the Wenceslas Square, and many other historical sites. I was in awe walking down the streets in the Old Town, feeling like I was transported into a fairy tale. Every building was beautifully designed with different colors and architecture, and the streets were lined with small shops each containing some unique nicknacks or artisan chocolates. In our free time I explored the shops and took in the beauty of the streets.

After visiting Prague, the next day we took a bus ride to Dresden. We had an unforgettable walking tour of the city while snow began falling over our heads. My favorite sights were the Baroque architecture at Zwinger palace and its magnificent courtyard; Bruhl’s Terrace, a stretch of famous historical landmarks next to the river Elbe; and the golden mural that creates the Procession of Princes. After the tour my friends and I rushed into the nearest shopping center to warm up from the cold. Here I had the chance to talk to some of the locals who were kind in helping me with directions and answering questions I had about the city.

Last, but not least by any stretch of the imagination, was Vienna. We packed our luggage the next morning and arrived in Austria’s capital. Of all the cities, Vienna was by far the coldest, windiest, and snowiest. I thought this might ruin the visit, but I instead fell in love with St, Stephen’s Cathedral at the center of the city. My friend Matej and I explored the church’s altars and gorgeous stained glass windows. After the cathedral we went into several souvenir shops tailored just towards Gustav Klimt where my friends and I bought music boxes and magnets with his artwork on them. We then explored the city some more before settling down for dinner, and afterwards boarding the bus back to Skopje.

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Even though I had been going to school with the Josip Broz IB students for seven months and we already knew each other, spending a week with them in a foreign country allowed us to bond more than I could imagine. I had the chance to talk more to the students I usually did not sit next to in class, and I even got to see another side to my friends. The only downside to the trip was becoming even closer to my friends, so now I don’t know how I will ever say goodbye to them when the time comes to leave Macedonia.

Job Opportunity: Program and Administrative Assistant (Sofia, Bulgaria)

 

Hiring

Job Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Position Type: Full-Time, Undetermined Term (after initial probationary period)
Preferred Start Date: June 1, 2018

Description:

The Program and Administrative Assistant is responsible for functions related to implementation of YES and YES abroad student exchange programs and provides administrative and finance support to the American Councils office in Bulgaria. The position reports the American Councils Country Representative in Sofia and works in conjunction with Washington-based program managers and colleagues in Southeast Europe.

About American Councils:

American Councils for International Education is an international not-for-profit organization working to advance education, research, and mutual understanding across the United States and the nations of Eastern Europe, Eurasia, and Southeast Europe. Its mission is to foster democratic development and civil societies by advancing education and research, cultivating leadership, and empowering individuals and institutions through learning. With a staff of over 450 professionals in over 60 countries, American Councils designs, implements, and supports innovative programs in education, community outreach, and scholarly research.

YES and YES Abroad program:

The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program provides scholarships for high school students to spend up to one academic year in the U.S where they live with host families, attend high school, engage in activities to learn about American society and values, and help educate Americans about their countries and cultures. The program is focused on countries with significant Muslim populations and is a democratic response to the events of September 11, 2001, providing deepen understanding between cultures.

The YES Abroad program was initiated as a reciprocal extension of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program for American students doing an exchange program in countries with significant Muslim populations.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Implement the YES program in Bulgaria including: promoting and advertising, assisting in all sounds of testing; organizing various program events, local visa support, preparing student departure and arrival.
  • Support the implementation of the YES Abroad program cycle in Bulgaria including:  host family and host school selection, activities with student like orientations, cultural events and volunteer opportunities and on-program support.
  • Assist in the implementation of other programs of the organization, as required;
  • Ensure all operational tasks in the office: maintain inbox and outbox correspondence, track human resource records, coordinate contracts with short term and temporary staff, file taxes and reports according to local laws,  prepare budget requests and reports to the DC office.
  • Provide administrative and logistical support to all programs, assisting office staff in everyday routine work as well as the organization of special events such as workshops, trainings, seminars, etc.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Reports to: Country Representative

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent, in a relevant field of study
  • Minimum 2 years’ experience in exchange program administration or position with similar duties
  • Outstanding time management, organization and planning skills
  • Demonstrated excellence in communication and multicultural interpersonal skills
  • Fluent in English and one or more local languages
  • Familiarity with the education system in Bulgaria
  • Experience traveling under difficult conditions
  • Flexibility to occasional work on weekends and evenings
  • Experience in budget management
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office software suite and common social media platforms

To apply, click the link below and submit your application (including resume and cover letter) by April 15, 2018 (midnight CET).

apply-now-large

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY – American Councils is committed to taking affirmative steps to enhance employment opportunities for minorities, women, veterans, and people with disabilities, and strives to ensure that meaningful employment and promotional opportunities are maintained for everyone. American Councils’ commitment to equal employment opportunity is based not only on federal requirements, but also on a longstanding commitment to maintaining a diverse workforce reflective of the communities in which we operate.

PAY TRANSPARENCY NONDISCRIMINATION PROVISION

The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information.