Welcome to our 2019 Impact Report. As I reflect on my second year as CEO, I feel honored to lead such an amazing organization that is creating positive change in communities around the globe. I truly believe the power of our organization lies in our global scope and breadth.
This year we have focused on building the strength of our programs to maximize our impact by not only making the world a better place today, but for generations to come. Fulfilling this vision starts with a clear set of shared ideals that hold meaning and inspire our participants, staff, and alumni. After surveying staff and stakeholders in 32 countries, a working group of faculty and staff identified and introduced a refreshed set of values that reflect the deeply ingrained principles and beliefs that shape our collective identity. I’m proud to share these core values with you in our Impact Report. World Learning Inc’s Core Values are intercultural understanding, community, social inclusion and justice, and sustainability.
Our values unite us and inform our internal and external relationships, guide our actions, and are reflected in the ways we work and fulfill our mission. They are woven into the fabric of all of our programs. Therefore, we decided to organize our 2019 Impact Report around these values to highlight their influence in our work, as well as the interconnectedness of all our brands and programs.
This year, I had the privilege of seeing these values in action when I visited some of our programs around the world. In Ecuador, I met with SIT Study Abroad students examining environmental issues and sustainability in the rainforest. I attended a regional meeting in Spain that brought together academic directors from across Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa to share how SIT carries out its work across diverse cultural contexts. Finally, in Kosovo, I met with representatives from the University of Pristina, the Ministry of Higher Education, and other World Learning partners who are strengthening community bonds in the country.
These interactions are just a few examples of the ways in which we as an organization strive to live our values every day. You will find many more stories in the pages ahead. This work is only possible because of you. We are so grateful for your support. I know if this community works together, we can achieve our mission of creating a more sustainable, peaceful, and just world.
World Learning Inc. President and CEO
OUR CORE VALUES
The World Learning Inc. family is connected by four core values.
We value active togetherness, reciprocity, and respect as the essential ingredients for sustainable community-building. With our presence and our programs, we create a global network of learners empowered to become community builders and collaborators.
With open minds, empathy, and courage, we facilitate understanding of and respect for the commonalities and differences between people. We do this through cultural immersion and experiential learning, which lead us to seek and create a better world.
SOCIAL INCLUSION & JUSTICE
We champion inclusion in all that we are and all that we do, from ensuring our community and our programs amplify the voices, agency, and dignity of all people to deliberately instilling the principles and practices of inclusion in all our work. We seek a world in which individuals and communities are self-determining, interdependent, and equitable.
We are committed to human and environmental well-being and contributing to a better world for all living and future generations.
In this World Learning Inc. 2019 Impact Report, you’ll discover how these values are reflected in all of our
programs and how our participants, alumni, and staff help carry them forward.
THE WORLD LEARNING INC.
World Learning Inc. is both an accredited academic institution and a global nonprofit with three divisions
woven together over the course of our vibrant history.
THE EXPERIMENT IN INTERNATIONAL LIVING
Experiment is where it all started. In 1932, we began sending young people abroad to learn how to live together by living together. We continue that mission today as the nation’s most experienced provider of summer abroad programs for high school students.
In the 1970s, we put our decades of experience into practice by establishing a nonprofit dedicated to education, sustainable development, and exchange. World Learning helps people and communities build brighter futures through our six core program areas: people-to-people exchanges, global education, institutional strengthening, youth workforce and entrepreneurship, civic engagement, and TESOL | English teacher training.
SCHOOL FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAINING
Founded in 1964 as a training center for outbound Peace Corps volunteers, SIT is the higher education division of World Learning Inc. We offer accredited undergraduate study abroad programs on all seven continents through SIT Study Abroad—including the International Honors Program’s comparative programs on multiple continents—as well as global and low-residency master’s degrees through SIT Graduate Institute.
The Experiment in International Living—World Learning’s flagship people-to-people exchange program—is the nation’s most experienced provider of summer abroad programs for high school students. For 87 years, these immersive programs have allowed participants to authentically explore the world while developing enduring friendships through cultural experiences and homestays, leaving a lasting impact on their lives.
The Experiment offers three- to six-week summer immersion programs in more than two dozen countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America, and Europe. Program themes include language and cultural discovery; arts and social change; sustainability and the environment; and peace, politics, and human rights.
World Learning—the nonprofit global development and exchange division of World Learning Inc.—works globally to find comprehensive solutions to pressing challenges such as poverty, conflict, and inequality. Our programs:
School for International Training (SIT) — SIT)—World Learning Inc.’s nonprofit educational institution—provides accredited, experiential programs that address today’s most critical global issues.
SIT Study Abroad offers field-based undergraduate study abroad programs on all seven continents, including comparative programs on multiple continents through the International Honors Program.
SIT Graduate Institute prepares students to be effective leaders, professionals, and citizens through its innovative, full-time global master’s programs that are delivered entirely abroad, as well as flexible low-residency programs that accommodate students living and working around the world.
All SIT programs are developed within a framework of the most critical global issues of our time so that the next generation of leaders has the expertise needed to engage all identities, perspectives, and cultures in respectful, enduring, and meaningful responses.
OUR GLOBAL REACH
World Learning Inc. is operating in 56 countries worldwide.
THE POWER OF
Building a more peaceful and just world starts with creating communities. A strong global network not only helps people thrive in their careers and lives, but also gives them the support they need to bring about a better world—together.
A NEW GENERATION OF
LIFELONG OPPORTUNITIES FOR
World Learning Inc. has been creating opportunities for cultural exchange since The Experiment in International Living’s first summer abroad program in 1932. Today, our people-to-people exchange programs reach individuals from more than 150 countries at all points in their lives.
IN 87 YEARS, THERE HAVE
BEEN MORE THAN
WORLD LEARNING WORKED WITH
Through School for International Training (SIT), U.S. and other students can get a hands-on, experiential education on all seven continents. Our accredited undergraduate and graduate programs encourage students to step beyond the boundaries of a traditional classroom to analyze the issues shaping communities around the globe.
IMMERSIVE & EXPERIENTIAL
World Learning Inc.’s teaching philosophy has held steadfast since 1932, when Donald Watt took the first group of Experimenters to Europe to learn to live together by living together. Through immersion and experiential learning—which incorporates theory, practice, and reflection—participants gain a deep understanding of local cultures.
SOCIAL INCLUSION & JUSTICE
FROM THE INSIDE OUT
At World Learning Inc., we believe it’s important to hold ourselves accountable as champions of inclusion. Meet some of our colleagues who are working to ensure that our programs include and amplify the voices of all members of society.
EDUCATION IS A
Too often, children are denied their right to an education because of their abilities or identities. World Learning has long worked in communities across the globe to transform classrooms into inclusive spaces that allow all children to access a high-quality education. Each year, we deepen our commitment to inclusive education—and 2019 has been no exception.
POSITIONING FUTURE LEADERS TO TACKLE
CRITICAL GLOBAL ISSUES
On our programs, participants learn how to advocate for sustainable change. They gain the knowledge and skills to develop effective, long-term solutions to problems in their communities and around the world.
As I come to the end of my term as board chair, I want to thank our dedicated board, staff, participants, and supporters for everything they do to help us bring World Learning Inc.’s mission to life. These past three years have been a journey of change, reimagining, and growth for our organization, and I am proud of the people who made it happen. As much as we all embrace change intellectually, making it happen is difficult. But in a rapidly shifting world full of uncertainties, a global organization needs to continuously reinvent itself to stay relevant and deliver effectively on its mission.
One of my key priorities as board chair was to partner with our CEO, Carol Jenkins, our senior leadership, and our board to develop a strategic plan that lays the foundations for a strong future and creates alignment across all of our programs and branches. We’ve made great strides in growing World Learning Inc. as a unified institution made up of unique branches like The Experiment and SIT Graduate Institute, including leveraging opportunities to collaborate and enhance one another’s work.
Some examples of our reimagining and strategic alignment include launching our new global master’s degrees, which build on the reputation and resources of our SIT Study Abroad centers around the globe. The Experiment in International Living is also now part of World Learning’s larger Youth Exchanges portfolio. In addition, staff from SIT and
World Learning’s Global Programs represented the organization together at the Comparative and International Education Society Conference this spring. We have only begun to scratch the surface of what is possible through cooperative ventures between our branches, and I am excited to see what other new ideas and initiatives develop across the organization.
World Learning will be in excellent hands with our incoming chair, International Honors Program alumnus Larry Cooley. Founder and president of the international development consulting firm Management Systems International (MSI), Larry has worked in more than 50 countries and brings years of experience and wisdom to the role of board chair. I will continue as a member of the board as we focus on enabling World Learning Inc. and its leaders to deliver the highest quality programs that expand our impact and move us toward a more sustainable, peaceful, and just world. With your help, we can make that better world a reality. Thank you for your support.