MY INCREDIBLE EXCHANGE EXPERIENCE

By Vesa Saqipi, YES student from Macedonia, currently on the program in Oregon, OH

The fact that I was given the opportunity to live this beautiful experience inspired me to write a couple of words to let you know how my experience has been so far.

My host family welcomed me in the best way possible. I fit in immediately and I felt like part of the family. Along with my work at school and community service, after school and during weekends, there were also some holidays. The first fancy place I got to visit was Cedar Point, an enormous amazing amusement park. It was my first time in a rollercoaster and it was incredible. I also had an amazing time for my birthday and my host family made it very special by giving me different lovely gifts, taking me to the movies and also taking me to a Hibachi Grill Restaurant, which is one of my favorite things ever. Later in November came Thanksgiving break. My host family decided to surprise my host sisters and me with a one week trip to Orlando, Florida. Orlando was unbelievable! Full of lights, full of life, it made me feel like I was in a movie, rather that reality. While there I got to accomplish one of my biggest, wildest dreams since I was a child and that was going to Disney World. I can’t describe in words how amazing this experience was.

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When we came back, a couple of days later Christmas was here and it was something very important to American culture. They like to be near their families and celebrate with a beautiful Christmas breakfast. I also got to understand that Christmas for Americans is a family holiday, rather than a religious one. They buy lots and lots of presents to show their love for the family members. I loved being part of that and getting to give presents to my host family.

We have also done many volunteer hours, counting to 100+ and we are still trying to do as much as possible, to help people and be human. I was also part of the crew behind the stage for the play “South Pacific” that my school organized. I am looking forward to visiting more places as the months pass, following month New York, after that Chicago, Niagara Falls, etc. And then after all, the time for me to say goodbye to this place I lived for 10 months will come. I miss my country, my city, my family, friends and everything there. I know I will miss this place and this family that opened their heart and home for me, but I am more than excited to go back and share my experience.

Although, there is one thing that I understood as time passed by, being an exchange student is not all about seeing big cities and famous places. It is about getting to know a new culture, getting to know a second family and getting to know yourselves better. That’s what matters the most.

YES program is a program I would recommend to any student, because it is worth it.

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FLEX Alumnus from Montenegro Empowers Youth in the Region

(Originally posted on the Bradly Herald.)

FLEX alumnus from Montenegro, Stefan Raicevic ’12 (Bar, Montenegro/Parsons, KS), is using what he learned during his exchange year to empower youth in the Balkans through the organization Movement of Cooperation and Development of Youth (MCDY).  Established in 2016, the organization launched its first project in September.  The project ‘Why Youth’ aims to examine why young people feel marginalized in society and use what organizers learned to train and empower youth.

Interactive lessonsStefan and the MCDY’s co-founder launched a series of ten workshops for 350 youth in cities across Serbia.  Participants will attended meetings with local representatives and officials, and with young
people in Serbia who are making a positive change in their communities.  Additionally, participants will take part in trainings to develop public speaking skills, learn how to create an elevator pitch, learn the basics of human rights and specifically the rights of youth, hone their team work and negotiating skills, and dive into the world of project design and management and proposal writing.  The workshops are funded in part by the FLEX Alumni Grants program and the Resolution Project.

The first of the workshops took place in January at the Stevan Sremac School in Nis, Serbia.  Nineteen young people participated in the first workshop and as a result of the session held four open discussions for 128 youth on community activism and participation.

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MCDY alumna Tijana Ivanovic holds an Open Session for nearly 100 youth in her community on environmental protection.

 Stefan gave us his take on the initiative, “Kids are ambitious nowadays.  We need to offer youth programs and tools to be involved in changing the world!  Personally, I was lucky enough to have learned these skills through my FLEX experience, on the exchange and as an alumnus! Now, I want to give my best to provide as many young people with these skills and I hope that they will give back to their community once they are ready.”

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Bins for cigarette butts were set up in front of five schools as a part of the environment protection open session.

TEACHING OPPORTUNITY (U.S. citizens) at American Councils, Southeast Europe

 

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American Councils in Southeast Europe (SEE) seeks PDO Teachers to prepare U.S. State Department FLEX and YES exchange program scholarship winners for the 2017-18 school year. Under the guidance of American Councils, PDO Teachers and FLEX/YES alumni Teaching Assistants will orient finalists to American culture and family life at PDOs to be held June-July 2017.

Job Description

PDO teachers will be requested to:

  • Attend the entire four-day training of trainers (ToT) to be held in Kyiv, Ukraine in March 2017 to learn about the FLEX/YES goals and objectives and the PDO teaching methods and materials.
  • Collaborate with FLEX/YES alumni Teaching Assistants to prepare sessions and teaching materials.
  • Team-teach sessions at PDOs to be held in June-July 2017 in Serbia (for students from Montenegro and Serbia) and/or Macedonia (for students from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Kosovo, and Macedonia).
  • Assist American Councils staff with occasional non-classroom responsibilities at the PDOs.

Qualifications

PDO teachers must:

  • Be American citizens, with native English language skills.
  • Have attended a U.S. high school in the USA.
  • Have teaching experience, preferably high school level.
  • Have recently lived or still live in at least one of the SEE program countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia).
  • Have local language skills relevant to one or more of these countries.
  • Have interpersonal skills and ability to work with staff of different ages and cultural backgrounds.
  • Be available to teach two to four PDO cycles between June 15 and July 15, 2017 (as determined by Program Hub Director)

This teaching opportunity is compliant with Peace Corps guidelines for volunteer activities.

PDO Teacher applicants should email

  • statement of purpose,
  • resume, and
  • passport copy (pdf)

to: pdoteacher@americancouncilssee.org by January 20, 2017.

Dinner with the U.S. Ambassador Baily in Macedonia

By Arshia Badani, YES Abroad 2016-17, Macedonia (Skopje)

Dinner with Ambassador Baily

I chose to study abroad to be able to fully integrate into a new culture and way of life for a full year. Naturally, a profession that has always stuck out to me is Foreign Service, namely, becoming a Diplomat. Obviously, you cannot just sign up to be a Diplomat, and Foreign Service is a very competitive field. Regardless, becoming a Diplomat has always been a dream job of mine. I have made the most out of every chance I have gotten to talk to people in the field of Foreign Service. Going to an international school makes this very easy, as most international students are children of diplomats and have lived and traveled all over the world. Their stories, experiences, and backgrounds are all so unique, I have always found it interesting to hear about them.

In early November, along with the other American students, I was invited to attend the American Embassy breakfast held on election morning when the results where being announced. Being surrounded by so many people associated with various embassies was really cool. I was fortunate enough to briefly meet the American Ambassador to Macedonia and speak with diplomats from other countries about their opinions on the election among other things; a perfect way to put the YES Abroad motto “exchange our world” in action.

A few weeks later, when my host family told me Ambassador Baily and his family would be joining us for dinner that Friday, I was surprised and ecstatic. I knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. On the day of the dinner I helped prep for our guests by polishing silver, moving furniture, and helping with table-setting. My host mom and dad cooked an amazing meal which I enjoyed very much. Conversation ranged from serious topics such as government corruption, to more lighthearted stories and anecdotes about school, growing up, and childhood memories. After dinner, we sat for coffee and ate a delicious pumpkin pie made by the Ambassador’s wife (which reminded me of home so much especially because this was the day after Thanksgiving). We continued conversation and even discussed one of my favorite topics- college football!

Overall, the dinner was an amazing experience. As a student on exchange through the United States Department of State, any interaction with the embassy is an enhancing experience. Interacting with the Ambassador in a personal setting and engaging in discussion with him and his family was very enriching, and I am grateful for the opportunity.

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YES Abroad Macedonia visit the city of Tetovo

-By Kyra Jasper, YES Abroad 2016-17, Macedonia (Skopje)

 

On October 22nd, the YES Abroad group had its second cultural excursion and first beyond the city limits of Skopje to the beautiful town of Tetovo. At 9:30am, Vesna and our group boarded the bus for a 45 minute ride to Macedonia’s third largest city, which is also the closest city to Skopje. As the bus drove down the long stretches of highway, I was amazed by the kaleidoscope of different colored leaves that blanketed the mountains that we passed. The beauty of this country is honestly augmented with each city we explore.

After getting off at our stop, we were greeted by Simona, a YES alumni from 2011, who is from Tetovo. She gave us a small tour of the main city streets and ethnic-Macedonian and Albanian sides of town before we ate at one of the best Burek shops in the country. Burek is a traditional dish made from phyllo dough and either ground beef and cheese. It’s typically really greasy, but the options at this particular restaurant—which also served Burek with potatoes and spinach—had very little oil. Eaten hot and with yogurt, it was definitely some of the best that I have had!

Burek filled with sirenye (white cheese)

Burek filled with sirenye (white cheese)

Our day continued at a bath house-turned-art museum. It was located alongside the Pena River, which runs through the center of Tetovo, and next to the Old Stone Bridge. While we learned about how Tetovo’s resources are struggling to keep up with its population boom, we met Prina, who just returned from the US on the YES program and is in her third year of high school. Simona and Prina then took us across the masterfully crafted Old Stone Bridge to one of the highlights of the day for me: the Colorful Mosque.

A picture on the Stone Bridge of the Bath House alongside the Pena River

A picture on the Stone Bridge of the Bath House alongside the Pena River

As we walked through a canopy of tree branches and leaves, we approached one of the most gorgeous buildings I have seen so far in Macedonia. Elaborately painted designs in gold, green, tan, and white on the outside of the Mosque did little justice to the rainbow of colors and patterns that illuminated the inside. Upon stepping barefoot through the wooden doors, we were overwhelmed with the soft hum of prayer, Arabic inscriptions, bejeweled chandeliers, and stories dancing on the walls through the layers of patterns. Even more mesmerizing was the knowledge that the paints were actually created using over 30,000 eggs. In contrast with traditional Mosques and Ottoman-styled architecture, the Colorful Mosque (or Sharena Jamiya in Macedonian) does not have a noticeable exterior dome and has clear illustrations of Mecca—the only Mosque that does in Southeastern Europe.

Group picture inside the Colorful Mosque

Group picture inside the Colorful Mosque

The two sisters who led the construction of the Mosque are buried just outside, and a little farther down the burial site is an area for men and women to wash themselves before entering the Mosque. It was a beautiful experience, and we are all grateful that the worshipers were gracious enough to let us have a glimpse of their sanctuary.

The front of the Colorful Mosque

The front of the Colorful Mosque

Our next stop was a Monastery on top of a huge hill. However, before ascending the hill, we passed the music school where Prina used to take piano lessons. We all wanted to look inside, so she led us in and showed us the practice rooms, theory classrooms, and the small auditorium for recitals. There was a piano on the stage, and we convinced both Prina and Jeremy to play for us. Both performed beautiful pieces, and we were especially fortunate to hear Jeremy singing while playing. The owners of the music school (or faculty) watched Jeremy and Prina’s performances as well and were very gracious, supportive, and welcoming of us. Throughout my time so far in Macedonia, I have noticed this uniform nod of hospitality: people are genuinely excited to show you their work and for you to join in. Tetovo was no exception.

Jeremy playing piano at the Music School

Jeremy playing piano at the Music School

Vesna called two taxis and our group made its way to the Monastery of Lesok 8 kilometers outside of Tetovo. Situated on the side of a mountain, the Monastery was actually destroyed in a bombing in 2001 during the ethnic-Macedonian and Albanian conflict before being reconstructed a few years later. The history of the building that we learned in a museum that stood adjacent to the church only deepened our fascination and admiration of the gorgeous architectural and painted designs that much more meaningful.

The interior of the Monastery of Lesok

The interior of the Monastery of Lesok

Our last stop before lunch (and light shopping) was the American Corner in Tetovo. With the sponsorship of the US Embassy in Macedonia, several American Corners were established in cities across the country–including Skopje and Tetovo. After a short tour of the building, we unanimously decided that, after such a long day, we should celebrate a wonderful day trip with a round of Apples to Apples. It was Tristain and the intern at the American Corner’s first time playing, but they both caught on quickly (with Tristain actually winning!)–and we all shared many laughs. It was a perfect way to wind down the day, which officially concluded with a delicious meal for lunch.

Wanting to take advantage of all of the famous dishes that Tetovo had to offer, we ordered two different large plates and individual Shopska salads so we could all have a taste. We were all stuffed with sirenye, meats, vegetables, French fries, fried zucchini, and, of course, bread. Though none of us could eat another bite by the time we boarded the bus back to Skopje, we were all very thankful for the incredible and enlightening experiences we shared.

FLEX and YES Alumni Unite to Develop Entrepreneurial Skills for Social Change

From October 12-16, 34 FLEX and YES alumni from Southeast Europe representing seven countries and seven program generations gathered in Krushevo, Macedonia, for the StartQube Social Entrepreneurship Workshop. The StartQube program was developed by Startup Zone, a Macedonia-based team who are themselves young entrepreneurs. This program was funded by the FLEX and YES programs, together with grants from the U.S. Embassies in Bulgaria, Kosovo, and Macedonia, and implemented by American Councils for International Education.

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Guided by experienced mentors and working in mixed international groups of two to three, alumni from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia learned how to take an entrepreneurial approach to addressing community needs as they developed socially-oriented business ideas step by step. Working closely with teammates representing diverse backgrounds and perspectives sparked creativity and pushed participants to achieve more than they had thought possible. “I learned how to adjust to working in a team of people that don’t necessarily have the same goals [or] ideas,” one participant reflected. Another described becoming “more open to others’ ideas and more flexible” through the experience.

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The mentoring team included Andrej Hanzir (Croatia), Lead Project Manager at COCI Founder and Conference Director of LEAP Summit; Armin Konjalic (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Regional Director of EastWestDigital; Laurat Raca (Kosovo), By-Youth-for-Youth Coordinator at UNICEF Innovations Lab; and Liudmil Vassev (Bulgaria), Co-founder of BBU Foundation and COO of BBU Startup School. “The different mentors each had different views and approaches that really helped broaden my thinking and identify risks,” one participant explained.

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The workshop’s 14 sessions each included a lecture or discussion introducing a key concept, followed by small group activities that challenged participants to apply the concept, building towards preparation for a final pitch of their idea. Supplementing these sessions were visits to local businesses. Through the stories of Macedonia’s last barrel maker, a charismatic athlete-turned-restauranteur, the owner of a tiny sweetshop famous for its 100-year-old recipe for Turkish delight, and the manager of the hotel that hosted the event, participants gained invaluable insight into what it takes for a business to distinguish itself and succeed.

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The event culminated in each team pitching their business idea to a panel of judges representing potential investors, which included the program mentors, representatives from American Councils and Startup Zone, and the manager of the workshop venue, Hotel Montana Palace. First, second, and third place honors went to the teams with the most well-developed and community-oriented ideas. The winning idea came from Kejsi Kurani (YES Albania ’16), Viktoriya Hakhamaneshiyan (YES Bulgaria ’15), and Klaudija Abat (FLEX Montenegro ’16), who proposed providing a range of parenting classes to the general public and using profits to subsidize free courses for parents from disadvantaged groups. Winners chose from six prizes that included free entrance to future startup-oriented events and access to or consultations with prestigious mentors in the field. “I had absolutely zero knowledge of business and entrepreneurship,” admitted one participant after completing the final pitch. “Now, I’m confident that I fully understand the concept.” Another participant reflected: “I am super happy with our final pitch. There were a lot of considerations and negotiating among the group members to define and agree… [We] learned how to present it all in three minutes, which seemed impossible at first!”

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On the first night of the event, participants received t-shirts that read, “_____ can change the world.” They were then invited to fill in the blank based on their current perspectives. Answers included “happiness,” “love,” and “humanity.” On the last day of the event, participants were again invited to fill in the blank. Some participants’ answers stayed the same, while others changed to words like “unity,” “working together,” “I,” or the name of their team. Reflecting on the most important lesson they had gained, one participant wrote: “the motivation to never give up—not just in a start-up idea, but also in life in general.” Many participants echoed this sentiment, sharing that this experience taught them to see risks as opportunities and failures as key to success.

By the end of the workshop, 100% of alumni asserted that they had made friends from other countries and built a foundation for future regional collaboration. The program will continue with post-workshop grants of up to $250 per participant.

YES Program recruiter encounters the curiosities of Lord Byron

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By Christopher Thomas Barber:

Traveling by furgon from the capital of Albania, Tirana, towards the YES program testing center in Fier, one is easily overwhelmed by the natural beauty of the lush Albanian hinterland. The highway towards Fier evades the jagged mountains east of Tirana, leading the passenger through the fertile microclimate of central Albania – where olive, quince, orange, pomegranate, and persimmon groves all grow alongside each other. On the way to Fier, the rolling hills of Albania’s grasslands offer the sight of traditional homesteads, sending the traveler back in time.  Lord Byron, the distinguished and prolific British poet, described the Albanian landscape passionately in his writing:

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,

There is a rapture on the lonely shore,

There is society where none intrudes,

By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:

I love not Man the less, but Nature more,

The excerpt above comes from Lord Byron’s Child Harold’s Pilgrimage, which he published from 1812-1818, following his infamous trip through Albania. The four-part, narrative poem describes the author’s adventures in the remote Western Balkans and exposes intimate reflections about his encounters with powerful tribal rulers, such as Ali Pasha Tepelena of southern Albania. Lord Byron’s highly heralded journey was a rarity at that time, as few Western foreigners had previously visited the mountainous Albanian terrain which remained under Ottoman rule.

The poet faithfully and colorfully wrote about the reflections and impressions which resonated with him, eventually traveling back to Britain in his notes and letters which would contribute to the imagery he used. Byron described how he had witnessed first-hand an ancient people and the vestiges of their deep cultural roots. Much of Byron’s descriptions illustrated the surrounding environment, allowing him to use mountains, cliffs, rivers, and fauna to captivate the reader:

Morn dawns; and with it stern Albania’s hills,

Dark Suli’s rocks, and Pindus’ inland peak,

Rob’d half in mist, bedew’d with snowy rills,

Array’d in many a dun and purple streak,

Arise; and, as the clouds among the break,

Disclose the dwelling of the mountaineer:

Here roams the wolf, the eagle whets his beak,

Birds, beasts of prey, and wilder men appear,

And gathering storms around convulse the closing year.

 

Despite the global success of Lord Byron’s writing, through which he effortlessly imparted his talents on the 19th century literature scene, the most remarkable element of the poet was his willingness and inclination to seek out new cultures and lands. Similar to Lord Byron, Albanian students striving to pass all three testing rounds and to become YES Program participants share the same passion and fervor for cross-cultural experiences. We can only hope that after studying in the US for 10 months, Albanian participants of the US government-sponsored YES Program will pass on their experiences to their family and friends, bridging cultural divisions and fostering international relations.

Additional excerpt from Lord Byron’s Child Harold’s Pilgrimage:

LAND of Albania! where Iskander rose,         

Theme of the young, and beacon of the wise,

And he, his namesake, whose oft-baffled foes

Shrunk from his deeds of chivalrous emprize:

“Land of Albania! Let me bend mine eyes

On thee, thou rugged nurse of savage men!

The cross descends, thy minarets arise,

And the pale crescent sparkles in the glen,

Through many a cypress grove within each city’s ken.”

FLEX Participants Follow in the Footsteps of Tesla, Pupin, Abramović…

Barber, Chris and Nikola Tesla

While strolling past the Spanish, Turkish, and Belgian embassies one Saturday afternoon in Belgrade on Krunska street, I noticed the Nikola Tesla Museum was open to visitors. In an attempt to escape the September heat, I soon found myself taking refuge among a number of Tesla’s inventions. Among the induction motors, alternating currents, and electric coils, a quote from Tesla made me stop and ruminate its significance:

“The spread of civilization may be likened to a fire; first, a feeble spark, next a flickering flame, then a mighty blaze, ever increasing in speed and power.”

What did Tesla mean by “the spread of civilization”, I pondered? Growing up a Serb in modern-day Croatia, and studying in Graz, Prague, and Budapest before leaving for the United States at the age of 28, Tesla already had ample life experience among diverse cultures, languages, and ethnicities. His exposure to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and later the US exemplified the ability of human beings to relocate, adapt, and develop according to their surroundings. And just as his quote stated, in the US Tesla did become a “flickering flame…ever increasing in speed and power” soon working alongside Thomas Edison and contributing to inventions that are still in use today.

Reading about Tesla’s biography compelled me to recall stories of other famous Serbians whose experiences in the US contributed to their personal and professional development. For example, Marina Abramović, the so-called “grandmother of performance art” of Montenegrin origin, raised and educated in Belgrade, eventually settled down in the US and had her work featured in a 2010 Museum of Modern Art exhibition in New York. Another famous Serb, Mihajlo Pupin, became a world-renowned physicist and chemist who moved to the US in 1874, becoming one of the founding members of an agency which later became NASA.  A plethora of famous Serbian athletes have also ended up in the US, such as Vlade Divac, who came to the US to play professional basketball, being named on the FIBA Hall of Fame and later working as general manager of the Sacramento Kings.  Actors and actresses, such as Croatian-born Rade Šerbedžija and Serb-Australian Bojana Novaković, have also spent time in the US developing their professions in entertainment and starring in American films.

While the US may not always be the final destination for the long list of influential Serbian inventors, entertainers, and athletes, for many of them it did leave an impression upon their careers. As Alexis de Tocqueville wrote following his renowned trip to the United States, “America is a land of wonders, in which everything is in constant motion and every change seems an improvement.”  Having an advantageous head-start on their education and professional journeys, Serbian students participating in the U.S. Government sponsored FLEX Program with American Councils are thus given the opportunity to seek out the very motion and self-improvement of which de Tocqueville wrote about, gaining greater cultural insight along the way as they follow their dreams.

Christopher T. Barber

YES/FLEX Program Recruiter

First impressions of Hawaii by Bulgarian YES student

By Kancho Atanasov, Bulgarian YES Student

It has been a month and a half since I arrived in Kona , Hawaii . It is one amazing place full of adventures , hidden magical places you could visit , friendly people everywhere .I am a junior in Konawaena High School and I am having lots of fun with my new friends here , they are showing me places I could’ve only dreamt about. Hawaii is a great destination and an opportunity to learn not only about the American culture but also the Hawaiian one and the Japanese one . I am exposed to multicultural differences and this is marvelous because I get to know more about the cultures . I am glad I was chosen to be part of this magical place . I personally think that every student should try and participate in this program , it provides you with life experiences.

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This is a photo ,which was taken in a place called Anne’s Pond – the water is fresh there and that’s why it is really cold, it is actually magical . The second photo is taken in Kealakekua Bay where Captain Cook (the discoverer of the Hawaiian Islands) discovered the islands.
The third photo shows my first American Football Match .

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Kosovar Program Participants Meet America’s Deep South

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An accent from the American south is quite peculiar: the elongation of vowels and shortening of consonants, all said in a nonchalant, yet formal eccentricity, reminiscent of the United States’ British ancestors.

An American myself, from the Pacific Northwest, I seldom hear this intriguing southern accent in real life, outside of television and films. But in the idyllic town of Prizren, Kosova, I met a YES program alumnus speaking this very dialect which he had perfected to a tee. The alumnus’ name was Ermal and he had recently returned from his ten-month study abroad trip in North Carolina, a state well-known for its deep southern accent.

Ermal lived in a small town in North Carolina, with a large and gregarious family that became like his second away from home. He told me that the southern “drawl” was difficult for him at first, but he soon became used to those accentuated vowels and forgotten consonants, bringing them back with him upon his return to Kosova.

After a long Turkish coffee with Ermal outside of the Sinan Pasha Mosque in Prizren, I headed to Prishtina with my colleague Fjolla to to continue the application and testing process for the next generation of YES students. Coincidentally, the next morning I met an alumna named Rinë who spent her 10-month exchange even deeper in the American south, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Having studied in the US several years before, Rinë’s accent wasn’t quite as strong as Ermal’s, but from her cadence, it was still obvious that she had lived in the south. Interestingly, Rinë explained to me that her experience in the US was emblematic of American culture. Her host parents had Chinese ancestry and the high school she attended was predominately African-American. Coming from the Western Balkans, which is already diverse with numerous ethnicities, religions, and backgrounds, Rinë’s time in the US was an entirely new experience. Other YES program alumni I met during the recruitment testing in Prizren, Kamenica, and Prishtina all had equally interesting experiences in the US, complete with distinct communities and contrasting environments.

Students who participated in the first rounds of testing included those with Albanian, Serbian, Bosnian, and Turkish descent, all of whom shared the same aspiration of studying for a scholastic year in the US. Whether they will pass all three testing rounds and be successful candidates is still unknown, but one thing is certain: exchange programs such as YES lead to exciting and unexpected connections between different American and World cultures.

 

Christopher T. Barber

YES and FLEX Programs Participant Recruiter