Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, July 16, 2001

Local student visits Europe

Jessica Borders of Howard Lake, who joined a delegation of high school students from the St. Cloud area, recently returned from a People to People Student Ambassador Program visit to Europe.

The student ambassadors spent approximately three weeks learning about the government, economy, and culture of France, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy through activities such as briefing at embassies and ministries, discussions with industry and trade officials, site visits to the headquarters of international organizations, and meetings with youth clubs.

Delegations received an overview of the cultural heritage of each country during visits to major historical sites and performances of ethnic music and dance.

The delegation traveled to Paris, Zurich, Vienna, Venice, Florence, and Rome.

As part of their overseas experience, student ambassadors took part in home visits with host families. Host families include their American guests in everyday activities, enabling the stutent ambassadors to gain a first hand understanding of the ways people live and work in other cultures.

Each student ambassador is selected on the basis of recommendations, including references and personal interviews with members of a screening committee in their local community.

Once students were accepted to the program, they prepare for their overseas project by attending orientation meetings in their own area, and studying background material on the countries and organizations they will visit.

Young Americans have served as student ambassadors since 1963. As a result, many former student ambassadors have been inspired to pursue international careers in business, law, government service, and teaching.

Alumni of the program have reported that their overseas experience, and the maturity and world awareness they gained, provide a competitive advantage for university acceptance, as well as a new appreciation for life in America.

Outstanding student ambassadors are also eligible to apply for future service as interns.

The student ambassador program is operated under the auspices of People to People International, a nonpolitical, private-sector organization founded by President Eisenhower in 1956 to further international goodwill and understanding.

An international network of People to People chapters in nearly 60 American cities and 35 countries assist program administrators in arranging homestays and educational activities.

Students can obtain high school and university credit through participation and may be eligible for grants.

For more information, contact: Kevin Zak, 1254 Virginia St. N, St. Paul, MN 55117, phone - (651) 487-6301; or the program office at: People to People Student Ambassador Program, Dwight D. Eisenhower Building, Spokane, WA 99202, phone - (509) 534.0430

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