AIFS Global Awareness Invites Southport Residents to
"Get Involved" for International Education Week

Press Release

November 12, 2005 Southport, North Carolina (NC) - The American Institute For Foreign Study (AIFS) is inviting Southport residents to get involved in international education to celebrate International Education Week 2005 (November 14-18).

AIFS Global Awareness, a grass roots educational program that promotes multicultural understanding throughout the world, will celebrate its one-year anniversary during International Education Week (IEW). To commemorate both events, AIFS is issuing this call to action to help teach children and adults alike about the world beyond their own countries. A new website has been launched for IEW, full of Global Awareness stories, photos, and ways for everyone to get involved. The new site is located at

International Education Week is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the U.S. Department of Education.

The Global Awareness program is dedicated to educating people about different countries, cultures, and customs through interaction, communication and experience with exchange program participants from around the world. With Global Awareness, AIFS, a leading international exchange organization, will help to eliminate stereotypes. Through this effort, AIFS hopes to combat anti-American sentiment and improve relationships around the world.

Global Awareness and AIFS join the worldwide celebration of IEW, a week which offers a unique opportunity to reach out to people in every nation, to develop a broader understanding of world cultures and languages, and to reiterate the conviction that enduring friendships and partnerships created through international education and exchange are important for a secure future. IEW is designed to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States. AIFS offers a myriad of such programs and is hopeful that, through these programs and their participants, the world can be changed for the better. Since its founding in 1964, AIFS has provided exchange opportunities for more than one million participants.

"The timing is perfect," remarks William Gertz, President and CEO of AIFS. "This is a very special week for the international education community and our Global Awareness campaign to help ensure that the mission and message of International Education Week is understood."

How Students Can Get Involved
Through AIFS, Southport students have many opportunities to get involved and help make an impact on the world. Academic Year in America (AYA), sponsored by the AIFS Foundation, facilitates exchange programs for hundreds of high school students around the world. AIFS Summer Advantage enables high school students to spend their summer abroad in six exciting locations. College students are able to choose from more than 20 programs and locations and spend a semester, year, or summer abroad. The Global Adventures Project (GAP) is an exciting volunteer program where students spend three to twelve months of their 'gap' year in Brazil, South Africa, India or Australia.

How the Community Can Get Involved
AIFS also offers opportunities for non-students in the Southport area to join the celebration of international education. Families can open their hearts and minds by hosting an exchange student with AYA or volunteer as a Local Coordinator. Families in need of childcare can explore the option of Au Pair in America, AIFS' live-in childcare solution. This exchange program also helps teach children international education skills, including the learning of other languages, cultures, and traditions.

Au Pair in America has launched "Meet Your Global Neighbor," a Global Awareness program dedicated to educating American students about cultures and customs in different countries through interaction with au pairs from around the world. Participating au pairs engage in classroom activities and discussions that support existing curriculum with age-appropriate modules enhancing cultural understanding.

One Global Awareness project saw American students studying abroad at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa through AIFS, volunteer to work in Kayamandi, a poverty-stricken local township located on the outskirts of Stellenbosch. The student volunteer efforts included time at the primary school teaching English, doing arts and crafts with the students, and playing sports. The outreach efforts of the international college students in Kayamandi have led to waste removal, construction of a basketball court, painting of the schools, and building houses.

Another example of the Global Awareness project in action is the Youth Exchange and Study Program (YES), an innovative high school exchange program funded by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs. Developed after the attacks of 9/11, YES focuses on placing students from Muslim countries with American families and schools. AYA has placed YES students from Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia and Turkey throughout America.

AIFS and its family of companies, based in Stamford, Connecticut with offices and partners worldwide, organizes cultural exchange programs throughout the world for more than 50,000 students each year.

If you would like to 'get involved' with Global Awareness and AIFS, contact Danielle Carpino at (800) 727-2437, ext. 5168 or Or visit the new AIFS Global Awareness International Education Week website at

To learn more about International Education Week, visit


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