Meet America – A Professional & Cultural Exchange Program for International Students
Meet America is an exciting professional development program developed and managed by
Global Ties U.S. for international students who are currently enrolled in U.S. colleges and
universities. The program broadens students’ networks by connecting them with companies,
nonprofit organizations, professionals, and communities across the U.S. while also providing
them with hands-on career development activities and professional advice that will help them
jumpstart their careers. Each Meet America program focuses on a specific career field or topic,
and is designed to provide an in-depth perspective on opportunities in that field; and more
importantly, help the international student begin preparing for the workforce. Virtually every
professional career/topic can become a Meet America program, including: business and
finance; engineering and technology; human rights; and much more.
Why Meet America?
There are over 820,000 international students attending U.S. colleges and universities. They
come from all continents and backgrounds, yet the challenges they face are similar and include:
-Limited opportunities to network with one another and with Americans, on a level that helps
them build their professional skills and prepare them for a global career;
-Lack of understanding, or direct exposure on how to position themselves to be competitive
for internships and a global career;
-Limited opportunities to visit and experience other American cities, outside of the immediate
geographic area of their host university or college, or major tourist hotspots;
-Lack of substantive opportunities to share their country’s culture, or to truly experience the
cultural and geographic diversity of the U.S.
Meet America is both a professional development and cultural exchange program that uses
educational travel to American communities, to engage international students studying in the
U.S. and help them overcome these challenges. The program’s activities include career
workshops, mock interviews, skills training, resume assistance, and discussions with professionals at well-known and respected industry leaders in the program themes. Upon completion of the program, participants become part of the Meet America Fellows network, and can take advantage of the continued professional networking and support that exists between current and past program participants.
Meet America –Help Strengthen Ties between Individuals and Nations!
There are many reasons to support the participation of students in Meet America. First,
experiences gained by international students through internships and employment after
graduation lead to a better-prepared workforce. The majority of international students return to
their home country after they graduate or complete their Optional Practical Training (OPT)
experience. Having them return with skills relevant to your domestic as well as the global job
market, and with an international network at their disposal directly translates to a more
productive and qualified workforce.
Even students who decide to stay in the U.S. upon completion of their studies still play a vital
role in their home countries after achieving success in the United States. Students who stay will continue the ties to their home nation by returning to invest in a business, establishing trade
relationships, mentoring others who may consider studying in the U.S., and many other ways.
Immigrants will also retain family ties that will keep them connected to their home countries and allow their networks to tap into the U.S.-based networks the student has built.
Meet America – What Does the Program Look Like?
Programs vary in length and can be adapted to specific country or group needs. Programs
range from six to fifteen days, and are organized around a set of topics such as: business,
entrepreneurism, trade and investment, human rights, immigration, grassroots democracy, civil
society, communication, or journalism. Groups of approximately 15- 18 international students
each will travel to up to three different cities in the U.S. (depending on the program length) to
participate in career and professional development activities and to engage culturally with the
local community. A sample itinerary could include one of the following:
Option 1: 5 days San Francisco, California/4 days Reno, Nevada/5 days Salt Lake City, Utah
Option 2: 4 days Milwaukee, Wisconsin/4 days Chicago, Illinois/5 days Indianapolis, Indiana
Option 3: 4 days Washington, DC/5 days Philadelphia, Pennsylvania/4 days New York, NY
Program cost for each participant ranges from $1450=$2500, depending on program length. This includes inter-city transportation during the program, accommodations, and other program-related expenses.
Meet America – Who Manages the Program?
Global Ties U.S. is a nonprofit that makes international exchange programs more effective. As a
nonprofit partner of the U.S. Department of State, we sustain a network of organizations that
coordinate international exchange programs and bring current and future leaders from around
the world to communities throughout the United States. Our members are located in 45 states
and 13 countries, with each possessing a unique wealth of experience hosting and engaging
foreign leaders, students, and youth by providing services and activities including professional
appointments, cultural engagements, home hospitality dinners, and overnight homestays with
American families. Our 92 U.S.-based members are our partners in Meet America and will
utilize their expertise, professional and cultural communities ties, and more than 40,000
volunteers that exist across the country to ensure that Meet America participants have the most
effective and engaging programs possible, which will ultimately contribute to our network’s
vision of building a more peaceful and prosperous world through international exchange