Connect Program

Project Description

Soliya’s Connect Program connects post-secondary students from vastly diverse backgrounds in the United States and the Middle East and North Africa in face-to-face, curriculum-driven, semester-long dialogue proven to foster understanding and build critical skills. Soliya will increase and diversify its community of young people who have built the skills, relationships, and confidence necessary to engage constructively across cultures. Soliya will engage thousands of students in the program, train hundreds of professional virtual exchange facilitators, expand participation in virtual exchange through targeted outreach, execute a robust impact measurement plan, revamp its website to support exchange and engagement, and construct innovative models to broaden understanding of best practices in the virtual exchange field.

General Information

Lead Organization



Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Qatar, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates

U.S. States

California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, D.C., West Virginia

Partners in the Middle East and North Africa

Duhok University, Domiz Refugee Camp, Jordan University for Science and Technology, Jordanian German University, Irbid Host Community Youth, Yarmouk University, Zaatari Refugee Camp, American University of Kuwait, Lebanese International University, Lebanese American University, Benghazi University, University of Misrata, Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, American Language Center in Marrakech, American Language Center in Tangier, Institut Superieur des Arts et Metiers Kairouan, Faculte des Sciences Economiques Jurdiques et Sociales Jendouba, Institut Superieur des Etudes Appliquees en Humanities du Kef, Institut Superieur des Etudes Appliquees en Humanities du Gafsa, Faculte des Sciences et Techniques de Sidi Bouzid, Faculte des Lettres et des Sciences Humaines Kairouan, American University of Sharjah, Zayed University

Partners in the United States

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Saxelab Social Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, American Islamic College, American University, Bluefield State University, Bowie State University, Brandeis University, College of Charleston, DePaul University, Endicott College, Georgetown University, Georgia College and State University, Iona College, Jamestown Community College, Kansas State University, Kennesaw State University, Northwestern Michigan College, Marymount University, Mid-Michigan Community College, Moraine Valley Community College, Queens University of Charlotte, Rollins College, Salisbury University, San Jose City College, Savannah State College, Seton Hall University, St. Louis Community College, State University of New York Potsdam, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Tennessee State University College of Business, University of Maine at Machias, University of Maryland, University of Massachusetts Boston, Virginia Union University, Western Kentucky University

 Project Duration

Two years

Launch Date

Winter 2016

Student Age Group