U.S.-Lao Exchange Program Alumni Seek to Better Their Communities

More than one hundred alumni of U.S.-Lao exchange programs gathered on March 03 to share memories and connect with their fellow exchange program participants.  These alumni range from high school students to established professionals and distinguished leaders who participated in a broad variety of programs in the United States.

U.S. Ambassador Rena Bitter praised the alumni for their contributions to their communities, “I am constantly impressed by the amazing work U.S. – Lao exchange program alumni.  They are active in everything from teaching English, to organizing entrepreneurship workshops, to working on UXO clearance.”

Speaking about her experience as part of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Program Chindavone Sanlath said, “Being a part of YSEALI expanded my thinking and enabled me to see the challenges facing my communities, and empowered me to be a part of the solution.”

More than 500 alumni have returned from the United States after completing their U.S. Government-sponsored programs.  They studied under prestigious programs including the Humphrey Program, the Fulbright Program, the International Visitor Leadership Program, the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program, the YSEALI program, and other professional exchange programs.

After returning from their exchange programs, Lao alumni of U.S. exchange programs are eligible to apply for funding from the U.S. Embassy to pursue projects to benefit their communities.  Alumni have used this funding to support neighborhood clean-up projects, educational children’s summer camps, professional skills workshops, and a variety of other initiatives.  Later this year, the Lao-American Alumni Oversees Student Club (LAO- SC) will organize the Vientiane Education Fair, which will give an opportunity for students and parents to connect with educational institutions and scholarship providers.

More information about opportunities to participate in U.S. Exchange Programs can be found at: https://la.usembassy.gov/lo/education-culture-lo/scholarships-lao/