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J Day

31 Jul

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Jday_SQCultural exchange is the heart of the J1 programs. 

Monday, August 3rd will mark the second annual celebration of J Day, a nationwide event promoting the J programs and enjoying American culture!  J Day will take place in 14 locations across the U.S. AAG is sponsoring J Day in New Braunfels, where participants will help with park clean-up and beautification at Landa Park, enjoy an American picnic, compete in fun summer “field day” games and even tube down the Guadalupe river.  These events capture the spirit of the day which is “Eat.  Play.  Give.”  We’re excited to participate and help raise awareness about the Exchange Visitor Program.

For more information, click here:


Women’s Equality Day

31 Jul

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indexWomen’s Equality Day is a day proclaimed each year by the United States President to commemorate the granting of the vote to women throughout the country. Women in the United States were granted the right to vote on August 26, 1920, when the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was certified as law.  The amendment was first introduced many years earlier in 1878. Every president has published a proclamation for Women’s Equality Day since 1972, the year after Bella Abzug first introduced legislation in Congress. This resolution was passed in 1971 designating August 26 of each year as Women’s Equality Day.

Joint Resolution of Congress, 1971 Designating August 26 of each year as Women’s Equality Day:

WHEREAS, the women of the United States have been treated as second-class citizens and have not been entitled the full rights and privileges, public or private, legal or institutional, which are available to male citizens of the United States; and

WHEREAS, the women of the United States have united to assure that these rights and privileges are available to all citizens equally regardless of sex,

WHEREAS, the women of the United States have designated August 26, the anniversary date of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, as symbol of the continued fight for equal rights: and

WHEREAS, the women of United States are to be commended and supported in their organizations and activities,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that August 26 of each year is designated as “Women’s Equality Day,” and the President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation annually in commemoration of that day in 1920, on which the women of America were first given the right to vote, and that day in 1970, on which a nationwide demonstration for women’s rights took place.

Hawaii - Encounter Culture

31 Jul

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45efb21a785734e0cda1cec9faf73d22There may be 50 states in America, but there is only one Hawaii. Drawing cultural inspiration from indigenous people, North America and Asian influences it is as diverse as it is expansive.

Hawaii is the 50th and most recent addition to the United States, officially declared a state on August 21, 1959. Hawaii is unique in many regards, as it the only U.S. state located in Oceania and the only one composed entirely of islands, and is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean. Hawaii is the only U.S. state not located in the Americas. Hawaii is made up of 8 main islands and hundreds of smaller islands. The main islands are: Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lānai, Kahoolawe, Maui and the Island of Hawai’i or the big island as it commonly referred to.

Hawaii’s diverse natural scenery, warm tropical climate, abundance of public beaches, oceanic surroundings, and active volcanoes make it a popular destination for tourists, surfers, biologists, and volcanologists.

Hawaii features 750 miles of coastline coming in 4th among US states behind Alaska, California and Florida.

Geology: The Hawaiian Islands were formed by volcanic activity initiated at an undersea magma source called the Hawaii hotspot. The process is continuing to build islands; the tectonic plate beneath much of the Pacific Ocean continually moves northwest and the hot spot remains stationary, slowly creating new volcanoes. Because of the hotspot’s location, all currently active land volcanoes are located on the southern half of Hawaii Island. The newest volcano, Lōʻihi Seamount, is located south of the coast of Hawaii Island.

Flora and Fauna: Because the islands of Hawaii are distant from other land habitats, life is thought to have arrived there by wind, waves (i.e. by ocean currents) and wings (i.e. birds, insects, and any seeds they may have carried on their feathers). This isolation, in combination with the diverse environment (including extreme altitudes, tropical climates, and arid shorelines), produced an array of endemic flora and fauna. Hawaii has more endangered species and has lost a higher percentage of its endemic species than any other U.S. state. One endemic plant, Brighamia, now requires hand-pollination because its natural pollinator is presumed to be extinct. The two species of Brighamia—B. rockii and B. insignis—are represented in the wild by around 120 individual plants. To ensure these plants set seed, biologists’ rappel down 3,000-foot cliffs to brush pollen onto their stigmas.

Climate: Hawaii’s climate is typical for the tropics, although temperatures and humidity tend to be less extreme because of near-constant trade winds from the east. Summer highs usually reach around 88 °F (31 °C) during the day and 75 °F (24 °C) at night. Winter day temperatures are usually around 83 °F (28 °C); at low elevation they seldom dip below 65 °F (18 °C) at night. Snow, not usually associated with the tropics, falls at 13,800 feet on Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa on Hawaii Island in some winter months. Snow rarely falls on Haleakalā. Mount Waiʻaleʻale on Kauaʻi has the second-highest average annual rainfall on Earth, about 460 inches (12,000 mm) per year. Most of Hawaii experiences only two seasons; the dry season runs from May to October and the wet season is from October to April.

The warmest temperature recorded in the state, in Pahala on April 27, 1931, is 100 °F (38 °C), making it tied with Alaska as the lowest high temperature recorded in a U.S. state. Hawaii’s record low temperature is 12 °F (−11 °C) observed in May 1979 on the summit of Mauna Kea. Hawaii is the only state to have never recorded sub-zero Fahrenheit temperatures.

Statehood: Hawaii is one of four U.S. states—apart from the original thirteen—the Vermont Republic (1791), the Republic of Texas (1845), and the California Republic (1846)—that were independent prior to statehood. Along with Texas, Hawaii had formal, international diplomatic recognition.

The Kingdom of Hawaii was sovereign from 1810 until 1893 when the monarchy was overthrown by resident American and European capitalists and landholders in a coup d’état. Hawaii was an independent republic from 1894 until August 12, 1898, when it officially became a territory of the United States. Hawaii was declared a U.S. state on August 21, 1959.

Current population: After the arrival of Europeans and Americans, the population of Hawaii fell dramatically until an influx of primarily Asian settlers arrived as migrant laborers at the end of the 19th century.

The United States Census Bureau estimates the population of Hawaii was 1,419,561 on July 1, 2014; an increase of 4.36% since the 2010 United States Census. The center of population of Hawaii is located between the two islands of Oʻahu and Molokaʻi. Surprisingly a large numbers of Native Hawaiians have moved to Las Vegas in recent years, earning it the nicknamed the “ninth island” of Hawaii.

Languages: English and Hawaiian are listed as Hawaii’s “official languages” in the state’s 1978 constitution. Article XV, Section 4 specifies, “Hawaiian shall be required for public acts and transactions only as provided by law”. Hawaii Creole English, locally referred to as “Pidgin”, is the native language of many native residents and is a second language for many others.

As of the 2000 Census, 73.44% of Hawaii residents aged five and older exclusively speak English at home. According to the 2008 American Community Survey, 74.6% of Hawaii’s residents over the age of five speak only English at home.[100] In their homes, 21.0% of state residents speak an additional Asian language, 2.6% speak Spanish, 1.6% speak other Indo-European languages and 0.2% speak an other language.

After English, other languages popularly spoken in the state are Tagalog, Japanese and Ilokano. Significant numbers of European immigrants and their descendants also speak their native languages; the most numerous are German, Portuguese, Italian and French.  5.37% of residents speak Tagalog—which includes non-native speakers of Filipino language, the national, co-official, Tagalog-based language; 4.96% speak Japanese and 4.05% speak Ilokano; 1.2% speak Chinese, 1.68% speak Hawaiian; 1.66% speak Spanish; 1.61% speak Korean; and 1.01% speak Samoan.


Austin2India Fundraiser

31 Jul

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1431226395Every child has the right to a proper education, and Austin2India is working hard to make this a reality.

Based in Austin, TX Austin2India is a not for profit organization working towards a fundraising goal of $20,000 to aide in the building of a new education center for tribal children in the remote village of Awalkheda.

Austin2India has partnered with Aseema Charitable Trust, a Mumbai-based non-governmental organization with a mission to equip children from marginalized communities with high quality, and value-based education, enabling development of their limitless potential.

Nutritious meals are offered on a daily basis and health camps are organized as required. Aseema’s team of Social Workers also liaise with the communities of our children and work closely with their parents to create home environments that promote learning. In addition, Aseema’s schools have facilities for remedial education and counseling. Professional psychologists address children’s emotional difficulties and teachers are equipped to address challenges faced in the classroom. Aseema’s children in these schools have been faring well at the State Board examinations and our alumni are now enrolled in reputed colleges.

For more information on this great cause please visit their website, Like them on Facebook and please consider donating to this wonderful cause.

A Change Of Scenery Can Do You Good

23 Jul

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A Change of Scenery Can do You GoodIt was in a stagnant moment in my life that I chose Australia. I had just graduated college, had zero luck in finding that dream job, and if I was being honest with myself, I really had no clue what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. And then one day as I sat with a plate of chocolate cake, eating away my feelings after being turned down by yet another job interview, I thought to myself “Screw this whole career thing, maybe I should just do some traveling instead.” I knew a change of scenery can do you good. With that, I put the fork down (ok I actually finished my slice of cake first) and headed to Google.


J Day 2015

17 Jul

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Jday_SQ_2While the purpose of the J1 program is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, the heart of the program is cultural exchange.

As sponsors and hosting employers of the programs, it is our privilege and responsibility to ensure that all our participants have opportunities to engage in cultural activities outside of the work place, while sharing their own cultures with Americans they meet.  On August 3rd 2015, AAG will be collaborating with other sponsors on the second annual “J Day,” one day dedicated to providing J1 participants with the opportunity to “Eat. Play. Give.” in communities across the U.S. 

Successfully piloted last summer, J Day is a celebration of international exchange participants coming together to raise awareness of the Exchange Visitor Programs in their communities while sharing their cultural diversity and American customs.  The day will feature a fun, classic American activity, an American picnic, and a volunteer service component that will directly benefit J1 host communities.

We believe J Day is a great opportunity to highlight the value of these cultural exchanges, and hope many of you will participate in this unique event.

Please register by sunday the 19th to participate


 Register Here

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