International Exchange in New York

International Exchanges

“IOU Respect” exchange visits give young adults an opportunity to learn first hand about the world and its people through positive and meaningful interaction with youth from different countries. Participants live, share and learn together in an effort to bridge cultural divides. Since 2004, HI-USA exchange activities have focused on bringing together young people from Western and Arab countries.Geared towards youth ages 18 to 24, the exchange programs encourage participants of diverse backgrounds to share their homeland and cultures, speak of their hopes and expectations and work collaboratively on activities together, all while staying in youth hostels.

The typical exchange consists of 6-8 young adults from each of 3-4 countries. National hostelling associations choose participants based on their demonstrated motivation to support and live the principles of intercultural education, respect, tolerance and understanding that are at the foundation of educating for and promoting a culture of peace. Adult leaders who collectively plan the curriculum lead the national participant teams.

Participants engage in preparatory work in advance of the visit. At the end of the program, participants share their perspectives through presentations and an evaluation exercise.

The most recent exchange visit hosted by HI-USA was based at the HI-New York hostel in summer 2006. The participants posted their impressions on the HI-USA web site. The Tunisia hostelling association will host young Americans, Germans and Moroccans in the summer of 2007.

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