15 November 2006

Friends, admirers and former colleagues of Carol Bellamy will be glad to learn she's doing very well. She has a dynamic senior management team working hard together to make an educational impact at "World Learning." This scholastic year, they will be in touch with about 3,600 students: 2,000 undergraduates from some 50 countries (mostly in the Southern sphere); 1,000 high school students on a summer international program and 600 masters degree students, 1/3 or whom are non-Americans.

Bellamy, who as UNICEF's Executive Director made a lasting impact with her unflinching commitment to human dignity worldwide, has now sharpened her focus on a Vermont-based venture dealing with international development, business and practical experiment in international living. She is the President and CEO of "World Learning," a private, nonprofit international organization with both academic and field project capabilities. Through four program units -- The Experiment in International Living, School for International Training (SIT), World Learning for International Development, and World Learning for Business -- World Learning is a leader in the fields of international exchange, study abroad, sustainable development, teacher education, language training, peacebuilding, and NGO management. It promotes international and intercultural understanding, democracy, social justice, and economic development through education, training, and field projects around the globe. In the fulfillment of this mission, the organization prepares individuals, institutions, and communities to be inspiring and effective leaders of change.

World Learning's flagship program, The Experiment in International Living, fosters international understanding through intercultural exchange. In a challenging three-to-five-week summer programs, high school students are immersed in the culture and language of another country - currently 26 worldwide -- by living as a member of a local family, by engaging in academic language and culture training, by performing community service, and by concentrating in a number of areas, including peace studies, ecological projects, and the arts. All Experiment programs bring together young people from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds for an experience that challenges stereotypes, builds personal awareness and a capacity for understanding, and celebrates diversity.

World Learning is one of more than 25 members of the Federation of National Representations of The Experiment in International Living, a group of private, nonprofit, nonpolitical, and nondenominational organizations. Incorporated in Switzerland in 1954, the Federation has held consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations since 1978, and with the Council of Europe since 1981. In 1989, the UN recognized the Federation as a Peace Messenger organization.

World Learning's institution of higher education, the School for International Training (SIT), headquartered in Brattleboro, Vermont, offers both graduate and undergraduate programs that prepare students to be interculturally effective leaders, professionals, and citizens.

Graduate and Professional Studies offers professional training and graduate degrees in two basic tracks - the Master of Arts in Teaching degree (academic year and summer formats) and related teaching certification programs, and the Programs in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management, which prepare professionals to be leaders in governmental, non-governmental or private enterprise. These master's degrees may be earned in conflict transformation, international education, social justice in intercultural relations, organizational management, sustainable development, and in a student-designed combination of the aforementioned.

Study Abroad is an undergraduate program which offers over 55 programs in some 45 countries, many of which are non-traditional study sites. Cutting edge learning environments challenge college and university students from over 200 sending institutions throughout the U.S. through a rigorous integration of classroom and field-based learning, including a home stay. Participants develop profound understanding and awareness in such critical areas as conflict transformation, the environment, engineering, and the arts and social change. Study abroad programs are offered in both academic semester and, new in 2004, in summer formats.

Professional and Short Programs is a variety of programs for working professionals who wish to enhance their careers and accelerate their professional development through distance education, graduate or continuing education programs, short courses, and summer classes.

Academic Centers and Projects -- as the practice arms of its academic departments, SIT's academic centers extend the school's reach and expand its capacity to educate and empower interculturally effective leaders, professionals and citizens. Through the centers' research, consultation, training projects, fellowships and short-term programs, SIT fosters a worldwide network of individuals and organizations committed to responsible global citizenship.

World Learning for International Development, World Learning's Washington, D.C.-based field division, designs and carries out projects that create democratic change and support peace, understanding and social justice around the world. It specializes in grass-roots programs that build local capabilities through technical assistance and training for people and organizations. Programs in education, civil society and social change, and training and exchange are designed to develop the skills of individuals and strengthen the capacities of local organizations as effective advocates and agents of progress and social change. Programs are based on local partnerships with people who have an active and respected role in addressing their own development challenges. Using the full resources of World Learning – which include a fully accredited post-graduate academic institution (School for International Training), a renowned cultural exchange program (The Experiment in International Living) and a respected intercultural business training organization (World Learning for Business) – World Learning for International Development advances both the theory and practice of social and economic development at the individual, community and institutional levels.

World Learning for Business -- As one of four World Learning program units, World Learning for Business brings the organization's longstanding tradition and expertise in international language and culture training to the corporate world. It provides, at client sites, customized cross-cultural communications and job-related language training for employees of global organizations. Our wide range of competency-based programs build skills through individual coaching, group classes, or guided self-instruction. World Learning's training and consulting portfolio includes intercultural team building, cultural diversity training, and preparation for international meetings, negotiations, and assignments.

We have given Carol Bellemy's new venture special attention not only due to her outstanding role at UNICEF, or to show that there is plenty of useful tasks to accomplish after leaving U.N. service, but also because of her continued positive impact on younger generations. Giving them hope inspires us during these days in an almost hopeless world.