iiDebate – Tunisia
iiDebate, based in Tunisia, is also known as the International Institute of Debate. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering youth to become more involved in their communities. The organization offers training, conferences, competitions, and special projects for engaged youth. They prioritize low income youth and schools in regions that are under resourced. Currently the program also hosts five “Action Civics” programs in which 120 high school students are enrolled. Through its many events, the organization has impacted thousands of students and opened many doors for them to have a positive impact on their communities and grow academically through iiDebate’s democratic education model. The organization “is here to empower young people and help them to find the right way to take an active role in the society.” By increasing access to international exchange and dialogue, YFU is helping the students of iiDebate actively engage with the world around them. Through its partnership with iiDebate Tunisia, YFU is establishing a “MENA hub” for youth engagement, and will build on their existing partnerships to launch virtual programming across North Africa and the Mid-East through 2018.
Pondok Pesantren Daar el-Qolam – Indonesia – The collaboration with Daar El Qolam was made possible through a grant sponsored by the US Embassy of Jakarta.
Pondok Pesantren Daar el-Qolam, located in Banten, Indonesia, is an Islamic, educational boarding school that was founded on January 20, 1968. The school encourages the focus of a sincere soul, human relationships and brotherhood, self-reliance, the freedom of thought that coincides with Islam, and respect for all cultures and backgrounds. Religion is intertwined with the curriculum and the dormitory style living allows for full development of the students. The school complex offers two masjids (places of prayer), dormitories, classrooms, science laboratories, sports fields and a computer lab, providing students with the resources they need to enter a globalized society. An advanced class program is also offered, it is known as the Excellent Class Program, and provides students with opportunities for more depth study of specific topics. Students are immersed in their diverse studies united under their religion and provide a unique perspective to international exchanges.
Global Prestasi – Indonesia
Global Prestasi, Bekasi, Indonesia, is a private school that emphasizes the establishment of a community that is based in faith, high achievement and being globally minded. Its core values are care, competency, commitment, core teamwork, and consistency. They utilize both Indonesian National Curriculum and the Cambridge Curriculum, creating a balance between the home culture and international education. The school offers modern facilities with science labs, theaters, art rooms, sports areas, and health care services. This exposes students not only to a rigorous academic offering but also the opportunity to engage in a variety of extracurricular activities. “We believe that every individual has potential and uniqueness to develop into holistic individual with a strong character, academic foundation, and skills. The school’s philosophy to shape their students into holistic individuals is accomplished through the International Program. This program includes classes conducted only in English and also provides preparation for the TEOFL, which equips students with the opportunity to expand their international skills both during and after their time at Global Prestasi.”
Theodore Roosevelt High School – Iowa, USA
Theodore Roosevelt High School, Des Moines, Iowa is named after the 26th President of the United States. Approximately 1,700 students in grades 9-12 attend the high school, which opened 90 years ago to the public. The school “has developed a tradition of excellence, both academically and in various extra-curricular activities, which are a source of pride to the community it serves, the students, faculty, and alumni.” Roosevelt High has a variety of clubs, sports teams, and a large music department as well as a rigorous academic selection, including Advanced Placement courses. The school is extremely socio-economically diverse and brings together many cultures in the community. Andrea Sutton, the facilitator of the YFU exchange, notes that “Roosevelt High School is an environment where students are eager to go beyond what they know in their own communities. We are excited to provide an opportunity to our students in which they establish positive connections and relationships with students in a very different part of the world.”
Winton Woods High School – Ohio, USA
Winton Woods High School, Cincinnati, Ohio is a part of The New Tech Network, a project-based curriculum model to foster innovation and professional development. The school operates under the motto “teaching that engages, culture that empowers, technology that enables, outcomes that matter.” There is are large athletic and fine arts programs offered for the almost 1,000 attendees in grades 9-12. An Academy of Global Studies is offered at Winton Woods, offering students the opportunity to become more globally competent through international travel, community service and extra class time. Their mission is to “provide an innovative, technology-infused education that positions students to compete, connect and cooperate on a global scale, in an environment that is designed around trust, respect and responsibility.” Winton Woods embraces the movement of innovation in educational development and the utilization of new platforms, as well as highlighting the importance of global competency and understanding.
Mezinarodni School – Czech Republic
Mezinarodni School is the 1st International School of Ostrava, Czech Republic. It combines the strength of the Czech education system with a multicultural and international approach. The school pushes for 21st century education in which pupils focus on critical thinking and communication while being tolerant of and open to different cultures and experiences. “At our school there is a full use of modern pedagogy for the 21st century and we educate individuals to acquire the key competencies for the implementation and success in today's world.” Students are encouraged to develop individual motivation through small group work within international curriculum. International Baccalaureate courses are offered, along with a prom for graduating students, after school clubs, music, art and advanced English learning. The international focus of the school provides the perfect environment to foster intellectual and cultural curiosity and increased global competency.
Islev Skole – Denmark
Islev Skole, Rodovre, Denmark hosts approximately 730 students. The school believes that their community should experience a safe environment that is characterized by the values of accountability, community and cooperation, care and security, creativity, humor, development, co-determination and democracy. There is a successful anti-bullying program and a strong academic track for all students, as well as a selection of after school activities to keep students engaged. “At Islev Skole, we want the pupils, parents and staff to take responsibility for the tasks to be solved, and we are working to create an environment where children and adults thrive. We want the school environment to give children and adults the desire and courage in their daily work.”
Nordaskolen – Denmark
Nordaskolen is the “North School” in Denmark. It has campuses in Egebjerg, Hojby, Nykobing and Odden with approximately 1200 pupils spread across 5 districts. Students have the opportunity to pick a major subject to study in order to hone in on their interests and increase professionalism in and exposure to their chosen field. The school offers arts and sports for the students and provides education from nursery school up to higher education. Nordaskolen highlights immersion, after school activities, creativity, and its sports program. “The school will be a place for both education and formation and a place where your child’s interests and abilities are in focus.” Nordaskolen’s emphasis on the formation of children and their future, benefits from YFU’s concept of global citizenship and creating students that look at the world through a global and open minded lens.
15th October Pioneer School – Bizerte, Tunisia
15th October Pioneer School of Bizerte is a magnet school in northern Tunisia, admitting students of the highest academic standing through a competitive entrance examination. Serving as youth facilitator for his debate team during the pilot is former YFU student, Yassine, a 2014-2015 academic year Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Scholar to San Antonio, Texas, who also coordinated YFU's introduction to his school. Sonia Annabi, an English teacher who has been with PIoneer for 22 years, is pleased to introduce this project to her students while also providing programmatic oversight. She says, “My students are extremely excited to take part in such a project. They like the English language and it is a good opportunity for them to practice and get to know new students, too.”
YFU’s Virtual Exchange Initiative is supported by Google, who has provided G-Suite technology to operate the program, providing participants with a global platform for engagement and collaboration through Google Classroom. Read more about it here.
Are you interested in collaborating with us? YFU is collecting inquiries to participate in the Fall semester project and will review and make selections in the summer. Organizational representatives may submit an online inquiry. Be sure to tell us a little about you and state your organization's capacity and interest in the YFU Virtual Exchange Initiative.
If you are a student, please have your teacher or an authorized party submit an inquiry on behalf of your institution. YFU USA Alumni enrolled in high school during the program period should work through the Director of Alumni Engagement.