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AAG wants to not only promote cultural exchange through our programs, but also provide an opportunity to travel the world virtually. Our goal is to give you the opportunity to learn more about a featured country with whom we are establishing and creating a stronger business, political and human ties.
We would like to feature Australia this month. Australia is near and dear to our hearts as we host a variety of opportunities to work and intern down under. Australia officially the Commonwealth of Australia is one of the seven continents and is comprised of the mainland, Tasmania Island, and several smaller islands.
Australia is home to the world’s largest living structure; The Great Barrier Reef. Found off the north-east coast of Australia the Great Barrier Reef stretches over 7,000 feet in length and can be seen from space. Learn more about this impressive system by clicking here.
The geography of Australia encompasses a wide variety of regions being the world’s smallest continent but the sixth-largest country in the world. The population of Australia is concentrated along the eastern and southeastern coasts. The geography of the country is extremely diverse, ranging from the snow-capped mountains of the Australian Alps and Tasmania to large deserts, tropical and temperate forests.
Australia’s unique animals are one of the many reasons people visit our country. Australia has more than 378 mammal species, 828 bird species, 4000 fish species, 300 species of lizards, 140 snake species, two crocodile species and around 50 types of marine mammal. Click here to learn more about Australian wildlife.
If you travel to Australia you must see the Sacred Site of Uluru, climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge, take a drive on the Great Ocean Road or dive in the Great Barrier Reef. They are known for their amazing vineyards and wine.
The motto is “Advance Australia” Language: English
Currency: Australian Dollar
Capital: They have 8 Capital Cities
Religion: Predominantly Christian but law restricts government from establishing a state religion
Population: 23.6 million people
Alliance Abroad Group is actively seeking Host Employers, City Officials and Service-oriented volunteers that would be interesting in joining our grassroots efforts in establishing Community Forums located in J-1 key pocket areas in the United States. The purpose of the Community Forum would be to robustly and enthusiastically support the promotion of the Department of State J-1 Visa programs through, education, volunteerism, and cultural exchange. We are looking for cultural exchange promoters and problem solvers to work closely with us as we establish these Forums.
We are excited to share that the Department of State highly recommends and will support these forums as long as their primary purpose is to further enhance the participant experience. It is important the Community Forum involves key players such as host employers, city officials, health care and protective services representatives and community volunteers on the committee. If you are interested in learning more please contact Laurie Moxley.
In addition, check out one of the established Community Forum that support International Participants located in the Ocean City Maryland and surrounding communities.
Words of Wisdom.
“…the exchange of students…should be vastly expanded…Information and education are powerful forces in support of peace. Just as war begins in the minds of men, so does peace.” - Dwight D. Eisenhower
“I am delighted to sign the new Fulbright-Hays Act. This ceremony has historic significance because it marks full recognition by the Congress of the importance of a more comprehensive program of educational and cultural activities as a component of our foreign relations…” - John F. Kennedy
“…International education cannot be the work of one country. It is the responsibility and promise of all nations. It calls for free exchange and full collaboration…The knowledge of our citizens is one treasure which grows only when it is shared.” - Lyndon B. Johnson
“This report…is largely devoted to an aspect of the program too often overlooked…the extraordinary…cooperation and assistance…from United States private groups…This private cooperation…gives the program its essential character and effectiveness…” – Richard M. Nixon
“The spirit of seeking understanding through personal contact with people of other nations and other cultures deserves the respect and support of all.” - Gerald R. Ford
“…I think one of the wonderful things about the program which you represent is its contribution to the barriers (of culture, events, religion, and ethics) having been broken down…” - Jimmy Carter
“There is a flickering spark in us all which, if struck at just the right age…can light the rest of our lives, elevating our ideals, deepening our tolerance, and sharpening our appetite for knowledge about the rest of the world. Educational and cultural exchanges…provide a perfect opportunity for this precious spark to grow, making us more sensitive and wiser international citizens through our careers.” - Ronald Reagan
“International exchanges are not a great tide to sweep away all differences, but they will slowly wear away at the obstacles to peace as surely as water wears away a hard stone.” - George H.W. Bush
“No one who has lived through the second half of the 20th century could possibly be blind to the enormous impact of exchange programs on the future of countries…” - Bill Clinton
“…By studying foreign cultures and languages and living abroad, we gain a better understanding of the many similarities that we share and learn to respect our differences. The relationships that are formed between individuals from different countries, as part of international education programs and exchanges, can also foster goodwill that develops into vibrant, mutually beneficial partnerships among nations.” - George W. Bush
“Simple exchanges can break down walls between us, for when people come together and speak to one another and share a common experience, then their common humanity is revealed. We are reminded that we’re joined together by our pursuit of a life that’s productive and purposeful, and when that happens mistrust begins to fade and our smaller differences no longer overshadow the things that we share. And that’s where progress begins.” - Barack Obama
The United Nations (UN) annually observes the International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development on December 5th. The day is also known as International Volunteer Day and was designated by the United Nations in 1985 as a day to celebrate the power and potential of volunteerism. This is a great opportunity to design an in-house project for your staff and international participants alike.
Below are some recommended activities:
- Community Outreach: Determine a community need and create a charitable project that supports that cause or need
- Recognize your Staff: Identify existing volunteers in your staff and take a moment to recognize them for their contributions to the community in a celebratory ceremony
- Make it Fun: Design a volunteer competition for your organization
For more information on how you can get involved visit volunteeractioncounts.org
Please send your cultural exchange event summaries or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many people all around the world celebrate Christmas, an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ. The celebratory customs associated in various countries have a mix of religious and secular origins. The season is observed in different ways, varying by country and region. Common elements include lighting of a Christmas tree, hanging of wreaths, singing carols, or displaying Nativity scenes depicting the birth of Jesus Christ.
In Brazil, celebrations resemble in many ways the traditions of Europe and North American, with exchanging of gifts, sending Christmas cards, and decorating houses and buildings with lights. Despite the warm tropical summer weather, some decorations include the theme of winter and snow. In Poland, Christmas Eve begins with a day of fasting and then a night of feasting. The traditional Polish Christmas meal is known as Wigilia or vigil. We hope that during this season you and your staff having an opportunity to share family traditions and customs about the holiday season you cherish. In addition, please take an opportunity to ask questions and learn about how your international participants celebrate in their home countries.
This time of years is a great opportunity to sponsor or host a cultural exchange event. See a few of AAG’s Recommendations:
1. Host a Dessert Bash – All you need to do is determine a location, send an evite and encourage your staff to bring their favorite sweets. Click here for Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa Holiday Desserts Recipes.
2. Create an International Holiday Card Campaign – Does your organization distribute holiday to your key clients or guests? If so, maybe this is a perfect opportunity to create an international Holiday Card Campaign. You could invite you international staff to sign a holiday card to send home to their family or friends. This could be the perfect time to talk and share about holiday customs and traditions in their home country. In addition, it will bring brand awareness and pride to those that receive a Holiday Card!
3. Organize a Holiday Caroling Volunteer Outing – Most of our local hospitals, or nursing homes need support is promoting the holiday spirit. Just give them a call and see if there is a need for very diverse caroling group. For additional tips for caroling in your local neighborhood click here.
Please send your cultural exchange event summaries or questions to email@example.com.
Define your Travel Persona before Booking your Next Trip
According to our friends at Tourism Australia, Australia is the ideal destination for Experience Seekers. They define an “Experience Seeker” as a self-challenging traveler looking for a unique, involving and personal experience. Experience Seekers travel to gain self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment as well as to enrich their lives. (more…)
Right now, throughout Australia we’re helping people write their own stories. Take a look…
Art Estrada is a young chef with a big and engaging personality. His enthusiasm and laughter is contagious and as we interview him, we can’t help laughing and joining in on his merriment and joy for all things baking.
Estrada recalls that his favorite thing to do whilst growing up was baking. Unlike other boys his age, he wasn’t found outside making mud pies, instead he was often discovered in the kitchen making a mess with bowls of sugar and flour.