I-LEAD Seattle Engages 61 Changemakers from J-1 Visa Program

By Leslie Corn

#CENETJ1 | #ILEAD | #ExchangesImpact

The second I-LEAD session took place in Seattle, Washington from August 21-26. The program attracted 61 delegates, representing 27 countries and 18 sponsors. I-LEAD, a U.S. Department of State program, is facilitated by the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE).

The first I-LEAD was at the American University in Washington, D.C.; the second took place at the University of Washington in Seattle. The I-LEAD experience is a 6-day, all-expenses paid program; this includes travel to and from the I-LEAD host city.

Per the CIEE selection process, applicants to I-LEAD were selected based on their interests in – and commitment to – making a professional and societal impact in their home countries following their internships.

The I-LEAD curriculum focuses on leadership, entrepreneurship, and community development. Delegates participated in workshops, attended meetings with entrepreneurs, and enjoyed cultural tours and other learning opportunities during their week-long I-LEAD session.

CENET participant, Heejae Yang, served as an I-LEAD delegate in Seattle. Heejae, a Business Administration intern in New Jersey, was able to travel across the United States in order to participate in I-LEAD. Comments about his experience may be found below:

When it comes to my thoughts or experiences, I cannot explain every single thing because every single happening was so impressive to me. Simply, I can say this experience in the United States, including I-LEAD, changed my whole life. It changed my thoughts, especially about my life. I was so impressed by every person I met. I got to know about U.S. culture and life, and I may get a Master’s degree in the U.S. one day. When I first came to the USA, I thought I would always prefer England, but by the end of the period, I was wanting to spend my winter in New York one more time! From A to Z, my attitude and thoughts were changed to the American way– whether it was acting free, struggling but enjoying life,  or meeting new people in the melting pot. Thanks a lot– I cannot say it enough.

Heejae Yang, I-LEAD Delegate

CENET strives to inspire a safer, more prosperous and compassionate world through international education and cultural exploration. For more news and updates about CENET, please visit our Facebook Page.