YES Programs



Exchange Students as Peace Builders

Dc  Usip Visit  March 2012 Group With Banner Small

This article was originally published on the Global Peacebuilding Center web site.

The U.S. Institute of Peace’s Global Peacebuilding Center hosted 28 students and adult leaders from Washington and Baltimore area AFS student programs on March 23, 2011. AFS is a non-profit international exchange program that operates in more than 50 countries and brings high school age students to the U.S. for one year to attend American schools and live with host families.  The students who visited USIP came from the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange, Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX), and Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study programs: all sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

At USIP, the students explored the range of ways in which young people can be peacebuilders.  The students experienced the multimedia exhibits in the Global Peacebuilding Center.  USIP’s Megan Chabalowski and David Smith hosted the group.

One AFS student commented that he “learned about how to solve a problem by looking at it from different ways until I am able to find a solution that gives benefits to all sides.” Another student commented that “peace is difficult but is possible.”

The Global Peacebuilding Center works with U.S. students as well as international students who are in the U.S. as part of exchange programs. The connection between study abroad and peacebuilding is highlighted on our website, which also includes testimonials of individuals who have studied abroad, and resources that can assist in exploring study abroad opportunities.


© 2012 by the Endowment of the United States Institute of Peace

Photo courtesy Jody Axinn. Students from Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen, Indonesia, Germany, Armenia and India.