Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI)
Undergraduate Student Leaders Program
The MEPI Student Leaders Program at Georgetown University is one of six programs that take place in the summer of 2013 on campuses across the United States. Each Institute offers an intensive six-week program for students from the Middle East and North Africa that focuses on the development of the participants' leadership skills and expands their understanding of American society and culture. It includes an academic program conducted by scholars and other professionals with expertise in leadership and U.S. Studies, as well as a study tour to other regions of the country. At Georgetown University, the Center for Intercultural Education and Development (CIED) leads the program, in collaboration with the Center for Social Justice and the Department of Government.
Through this program, student will develop leadership skills and learn about historical and contemporary American politics, institutions, society and values. An interdisciplinary and experiential approach is used to explore concepts of leadership, citizenship and civic activism through workshops, academic sessions, site visits and social/cultural events. In addition, students learn about volunteerism and community involvement in the United States through organized activities with service organizations.
To experience the diversity in the United States, students will have the opportunity to visit and immerse themselves in other parts of the country during the study-tour. Students will first travel to New York City at the beginning of the program. This study-tour will lay the foundations of the students' understanding of civil society and civic engagement. In addition, students will also travel Northcentral Technical College in Wausau, Wisconsin, where students will delve into the working of a rural community in the American Midwest.
Once students return home, they will continue fostering greater intercultural understanding by sharing their experiences and perspectives with others in their home countries. The State Department's MEPI office will continue to support the alumni to facilitate outreach and development projects within their communities.
Six to eight months following the summer program, students can apply to attend the Alumni Professional Development Conference in the region. The conference is an integral component of the program because it enriches student leadership development as they enter the implementation phase of their service projects. It also provides them with additional support as they continue building their professional skills.