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International Education Week Webinar 2019

International Education Week Webinar 2019

Join YES Abroad alumnus Markal Kelly, as a featured speaker in the YES program’s upcoming webinar on International Education Week. International Education Week (IEW) – a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education – is a national effort to promote programs that prepare youth with 21st century skills in today’s globalized world and to encourage young Americans to study abroad as cultural ambassadors for the U.S. Each year, IEW takes place the week before Thanksgiving, allowing YES Abroad students studying all over the world to give thanks for the opportunity to share their culture with their host communities abroad. 

IEW gives YES Abroad students the opportunity to share American culture and values with their host communities all around the world. YES Abroad students use IEW as an opportunity to build bridges of mutual understanding and friendship in the place of negative stereotypes, xenophobia, and cultural misunderstandings. 

This year, as part of a  month-long celebration of International Education Week, the YES program is excited to host an IEW webinar on November 6 at 6:00 PM ET. This webinar is open to current YES Abroad students and alumni and will feature alumni speakers who have shown dedication towards global exchange and education during their exchange year and in their home country. Markal Kelly, who studied with YES Abroad in Bulgaria, will be joining the webinar as a panelist. Markal, alongside four YES alumni, will share their experiences celebrating IEW. 

The alumni panel will share practical advice with webinar participants on how to utilize International Education Week to connect with their host communities. Participants will brainstorm creative IEW projects to celebrate international education and build bridges of global understanding between people all over the world. Participants will also discuss ways to be self-reflective and mindful during their study abroad experiences and think more broadly about the impact they are having through the YES Abroad program. 

To register for the webinar, please visit:

The Guest Speakers:

Markal Kelly is an alumnus of the YES Abroad program in Bulgaria from the 2018-19 cohort. He is currently studying at Morehouse college in Atlanta, Georgia in hope of receiving his degree in International studies.

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Heba Alsaidi and is from Gaza, Palestine. She studies English Literature at the Lebanese American University in Beirut, Lebanon. Heba is a 2013-2014 YES alumna and was placed in Lake Stevens, Washington State. She says her exchange year was an eye-opener and showed her the true value of cultural diversity and the satisfaction that comes from shedding comfort zones. "I think that once I got a taste of what being an exchange student in a foreign country feels like, I made sure that I took advantage of my education and turned it into an adventure. I am studying way from home in Lebanon, I have been on exchange for a second time to the U.S. and I am planning to continue my graduate studies while on exchange. My best advice to anyone is to ‘celebrate culture and study abroad’"

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Aleksis Satka is from Tirana, Albania. In 2018-2019 Aleksis was hosted by the YES program in Lehi, Utah and attended the Lehi High School. During her exchange year, she was part of the Ultimate Frisbee team and participated in a variety of clubs including Math and Drama. She completed over 100 volunteer hours and became Student of the Year for Family and Consumer Science Classes. During her exchange year, she attended Civic Education Week and Better Understanding for a Better World in D.C. She is currently a Senior in Besnik Sykja, Tirana and is involved in a local Outdoor Ambassadors Club and the YES Alumni Association as a City Representative. "I am very passionate about arts, science, human rights and environmental issues."

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Daize Njounkeng is a 2017-2018 YES alumna from Cameroon, hosted in Indiana U.S. Daize is enthusiastic about community services, particularly geared towards children and youth. She works with her fellow YES alumni to carry out projects related to SDGs 2 (Zero Hunger), 3 (Good Health and Well-being), 4 (Quality education), 5(Gender Equality) and 11(Sustainable cities and communities). Daize has succeeded to build an active community of 30 teenagers, serving the community through active volunteering. Daize is a high school senior and takes advantage of every opportunity to learn, develop herself and empower others. She believes empowered youths have the ability to change the world.

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Abdullateef Abdullateef is 19 years old and from Kaduna State, Nigeria. He is a YES alumnus from 2016-2017 and was hosted in San Antonio, Texas. Abdullateef now attends a local college in Nigeria and is majoring in civil engineering.