YES Programs



Re-entry Workshop for Newly Returned YES Alumni in Kosovo

Kosova Virtual Re Entry Seminar Day 1

By Medina Bilalli (YES 2019-2020, Kosovo, hosted by Aspect Foundation in Canton, IL)

Alumni Coordinator Visar Zeka (YES 2014-2015, Kosovo, hosted by AYUSA in Prosper, TX), with the help of supervisor Mjellma Vula (YES 2012-2013, Kosovo, hosted by PAX in Valley Center, KS), organized the annual re-entry seminar in Kosovo for the 19 newly returned alumni from the United States.

Due to the pandemic, this re-entry seminar was held online via Zoom. Even though students couldn’t interact face to face, that didn’t stop them from getting to know each other through a screen. The seminar started with an icebreaker that allowed alumni to share their exchange experiences in small groups. They shared stories and lessons they learned from their year abroad in the U.S.

After the icebreaker, there was a presentation about what is expected of the alumni now that they have returned to Kosovo. They also learned about reverse culture shock, alumni grants, and different opportunities that are now available to them, including YES alumni events.

The seminar also featured guest speakers from the U.S Embassy in Kosovo and KUSA Kosovo, an association for those that went on U.S. Government-funded exchanges, who welcomed our alumni and shared some other opportunities for the alumni community.

Kosova Virtual Re Entry Seminar Day 2

The newly returned alumni brainstormed three projects that they can implement in their local communities using their newly acquired skills from their YES year. They came up with these ideas by discussing various community issues and solutions to them.

When the seminar started, everyone was a bit overwhelmed by all the information but, by the end of it, everyone felt like they made the right decision to join the alumni family. Now these newly returned alumni can’t wait to participate in the many activities that will make their community better.