Welcome to World Link
World Link students represent a select group of students that have undergone a three phase merit-based selection process in order to represent the various ethnic, social, religious, and economic groups in their countries. The exchange program mission is to have these young leaders come to the United States and share their culture with Americans while learning about the real America that they will share with the peers and fellow citizens when they return home as program alumnae. World Link provides enhancement activities through a program called Public Achievement Leadership (PAL).
While in the USA for an academic year, or on a short-term exchange, participants participate in three basic enhancement objectives: 1) to share their culture and experience ours; 2) to learn and develop leadership skills; and, 3) experience aspects of a civil society and community service. In addition to these objectives, students are also involved in school clubs and activities and participate in community events with their peers. All of this is designed so that their peers in their host schools and residents of the host community get to know their name and something about their country that will help lead to a better understanding and spirit of cooperation with all of the citizens of the world. World Link places students in cluster groups to enhance their support and learning while in the USA. World Link clusters are located in Central California, Eastern Colorado, Northwest Texas, Central and Eastern Iowa, and Western Illinois. A dedicated team of local coordinators live and serve in these communities helping to provide the programming and support to allow World Link students to thrive while participating in their cultural exchange.
Hear what some of our past students have to say about the World Link Program.
World Link has designed an enhancement program that goes beyond having students just attend school during their exchange year in America. Students on a World Link program are provided with training, support, and program funds to share their culture, learn leadership skills, experience the diversity of the USA, and learn about organizing and implementing community service projects. Motivational awards and incentives are provided to encourage participants to experience the new ideas that inter-cultural exchange has to offer, but also to excel in their unique learning opportunity while in the USA.
World Link Enhancement Plan Summary:
An arrival orientation is held during the first month the student is in the country. These overnight meetings are held in camps in regional cluster groups and have activities designed to prepare students for the engagement in enhancement activities, set goals, bond with each other, and develop skills to meet the challenges of living and studying in a foreign culture.
One way students learn to meet the challenges of being an exchange student is by overcoming their fears on a High-Ropes Challenge Course at the orientation. The challenge course demonstrates difficulties students can face during their year in America. It gives them the techniques to tackle these challenges head-on by themselves, all while giving them the opportunity to build character and confidence.
A mid-term meeting is held during the Martin Luther King holiday weekend to assess their path to achieving their goals for the year and to prepare for service projects during Global Youth Service Day through a workshop designed to teach the skills necessary to develop a sound plan for and map out an implementation road map for a service project. This meeting includes a diversity immersion activity to expose students to diversity issues in the USA in order to provide a tolerance and appreciation of the diversity in their own countries. This activity, of either attending MLK commemoration ceremonies or a Tolerance for Teens workshop helps students prepare for the Melting Pot Diversity Activity.
A re-entry meeting is held prior to students returning home after their academic year in America to prepare students for reverse culture shock and develop skills necessary to reestablish their relationships with their family and friends after a life changing year of becoming a "global citizen".
At this meeting, the students celebrate the achievements they have earned throughout their year including their Global Youth Service Day Projects at an awards banquet. Students also begin to prepare to become successful program alumni and change-makers in their communities by connecting with alumni groups in their home countries.