International Youth Academy set for July 23-Aug. 5

July 19, 2017 | Events, News, UToday
By Cathy Zimmer

The Center for International Studies and Programs, in conjunction with Toledo Sister Cities, will welcome students from around the world for the 2017 International Youth Academy scheduled for Sunday, July 23, through Saturday, Aug. 5, on The University of Toledo’s Main Campus.

Students who participate in the International Youth Academy, a special cultural program for high school-aged youth 14 to 17 from around the world, can improve their conversational English, develop new understanding of teens from different cultures, and gain lifetime friendships, all while having fun.

Students who participated in last year’s International Youth Academy posed for a photo at the Toledo Museum of Art.

“The University of Toledo and Toledo Sister Cities International have a long standing relationship; this relationship has evolved into a partnership to implement the International Youth Academy program,” said Dr. Sammy Spann, assistant vice provost for international studies and programs. “This summer we are welcoming high school students from Japan, Tanzania and the United States. This program provides us the opportunity to showcase the city of Toledo, as well as The University of Toledo. The city of Toledo has a great wealth of opportunities to offer the international community, and this program allows us to gain exposure in the international arena.” 

“Toledo Sister Cities International is proud of its nationally acclaimed alliance with The University of Toledo’s Center for International Studies and Programs,” said James Hartung, vice president of the Toledo Sister Cities International Board of Trustees. “In my mind there is no greater pride than the pride I ascribe to our UT/Sister Cities co-sponsorship of the International Youth Academy. Our shared commitment to creatively foster the development of a corps of young citizen-of-the-world diplomats through the International Youth Academy exemplifies the synergy between UT and Sister Cities.”

International Youth Academy is a special cultural two-week program that enriches high school students’ global awareness and English language. The program is designed for students to share their thoughts and experiences with teenagers from other countries. American youth diplomats work side by side with students to assist them with English, learn about the students’ traditions and culture, and share interests. English classes, language games, cultural activities, field trips and hands-on team building events all aid in improving students’ conversational English.

“We are happy to host the International Youth Academy on UT’s campus. The high school students have the opportunity to experience campus life by residing in one of our residence halls and engaging with The University of Toledo students,” said Kayann Carlson, who is coordinating this program for the Center for International Studies and Programs. “We have added a new twist to the program: This year we will have junior ambassadors. Junior ambassadors are American students in the same age group as the program participants. The ambassador program allows the students to build relationships with American students within their age group. Additionally, the American junior ambassadors are able to gain an international perspective while remaining in the United States.”

This summer’s International Youth Academy program will host nine students from Japan, two students from Tanzania, and five junior ambassador students from the United States.

Program highlights will include targeted English second language instruction and development of cultural awareness through outings to Cedar Point, Toledo Zoo, Toledo Mud Hens game, and the Toledo Art Museum. 

For the third year, The Blade will support the International Youth Academy.  The Blade staff will provide education on the concept of free press and teach the process of interviewing and reporting. In addition, The Blade is sponsoring several of the student outings.

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