This year the thirteen NSLI-Y Alumni Representatives have been working hard to strengthen the alumni network and connect alumni from all generations of the program. Recently networking events have been held in Philadelphia, New York, Atlanta and DC, and there are several more planned for the coming months.

In New York, alumni met in January at the iEARN USA office for a networking pizza party where they shared stories of their study abroad experience. Alumni first did a speed-networking activity where they quickly spoke with everyone else at the event to introduce themselves, and then went into activities where they shared stories from their study abroad experience. The goals of the event were to bring together NSLI-Y alumni from different host countries and program years, and to talk about how they can use their study abroad experience in their professional lives.

In Atlanta, NSLI-Y alumni hosted a lecture on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, featuring speeches by Palestinian activists. The event was attended by alumni and community members alike and was a very informative perspective on the political situation in that region.

April was a busy month for the alumni association. In DC, alumni representatives held a career panel with speakers working in the State Department, Fulbright program, and other fields. And in Philadelphia, alumni met up for bubble tea to informally chat about their NSLI-Y experience and connect with people from different host countries and years.

Talking about the networking event in Philadelphia, alumni representative Andy says:

"It was a fun event and we had a great turn out of alumni from different NSLI-Y languages! We talked about our experiences, shared crazy stories and came up with ideas for future alumni events in the area. I'm really looking forward to our event with the local diplomat in residence in the fall"

In April the alumni representatives for virtual engagement also held their first webinar called "Coming Back, Giving Back: Using Your NSLI-Y For Good" Virtual Event. This hour-long event featured five alumni speakers talking about how they have used their study abroad experience to give back. Presenters ranged from the very first batch of NSLI-Y students in 2006 to the most recent in 2015, and were working in various different fields.

three alumni at the networking party

Alumni at the NYC networking and pizza party

Serving as a NSLI-Y alumni representative is a great way to stay connected to the NSLI-Y experience and to give back to the NSLI-Y community.

Representatives apply for the position and are selected by American Councils. They are then are responsible for planning at least three events in their respective regions during the year. Representatives for virtual engagement who are responsible for planning virtual events and engaging the alumni community on online platforms.

Connecting this community is important and rewarding work, and alumni representatives have the chance to gain a lot of different skills through this experience. They gain experience planning events, conducting community outreach and grow their network of people who have similar experiences as them.

alumni at the philadelphia networking event

Alumni at the Philadelphia networking event

This story is part of the “Coming Back, Giving Back” campaign sharing how NSLI-Y Alumni can use their study abroad experience to make a difference. Submit your story today to [email protected]!