To bring together high school and college students from around the globe to:
talk about culture,
promote mutual understanding,
and prepare young people to tackle today’s critical global issues through cross-cultural collaboration.
We democratize access to multicultural education. Recognizing, sharing, and celebrating culture is a human right, not a privilege only experienced by a select few. Generation Z embraces multiculturalism as a cornerstone of who we are, but are we truly aware of what our culture and other cultures mean?
Project Exchange creates a platform to empower high school and college students from around the globe to unapologetically claim, embrace, and share their culture. Taking that one step further, we create opportunities for students to be bold enough to learn about, live, and experience other cultures - not just simply putting on clothing or a mask of that culture, but truly understanding how their actions can raise awareness for the culture.
Ultimately, we are here to facilitate the exchange of cultures, similarities and differences so students are able to effectively advocate for cultures in an authentic, inclusive, and respectful manner. There’s a fine line between representation and acculturation, and we believe in the power of young people navigate that border to expand their and their communities’ worldview.
Project Exchange was founded in July 2018 by Ashley Lin, after studying abroad in Uruguay with a program of the U.S. Department of State called Youth Ambassadors. This experience opened her eyes to the importance of cultural exchange in expanding worldview, overcoming stereotypes, and fostering inclusion. At the same time, she was exposed to the fact that many students in the U.S. and abroad in countries like Uruguay simply did not have access to multicultural education, specifically study abroad, opportunities. From financial challenges, to documentation requirements, to social norms and taboos and more, there are too many barriers to understanding one’s own culture and learning about others’.
This is unacceptable. Cultural exchange should not be a privilege available to only a select few. Study abroad is a life-changing opportunity that many do not have access to, which is why Project Exchange was created. Through our capstone Digital Exchange Program, we provide a platform for young people to embark on an authentic and vulnerable journey to share their culture and learn about others. An alternative to the traditional “study abroad” experience, the Digital Exchange Program fosters understanding of our global society, and empowers young people to investigate culture, stereotypes, and tolerance themselves. Let’s tackle today’s critical global issues together, through cross-cultural collaboration, one exchange at a time.