Announcement

2021 Call for Testimonials

Last year, we launched our first ever Call for Testimonials to learn firsthand from Stevens Initiative participants and alumni about their virtual exchange experience. The response was inspiring, and we’re eager to hear from you again!

We want the world to better understand the impact of virtual exchange from the perspective of program participants, and we need your help spreading the word. Participants and alumni of Stevens Initiative-funded programs are invited to share about the power of virtual exchange by submitting a testimonial about the lasting impact a program had on their lives.

Submit a testimonial/quote here by 12pm U.S. Eastern Time on Thursday, October 21, 2021. Any questions can be submitted to the Stevens Initiative at StevensInitiative@aspeninstitute.org and will be answered Monday to Friday between 9am and 4pm U.S. Eastern Time.

Guidance for Testimonials 

In these testimonials you should share about how virtual exchange transformed your life. You can talk about your virtual exchange experience and its impact on you either personally or academically/professionally. To help guide you, choose one of the following prompts:

  • If you participated in virtual exchange during the pandemic, what role did your participation play in helping you feel more connected to peers and the world around you, especially in times of social distancing, limited travel, and time away from friends and family?
  • How has virtual exchange influenced your academic or career goals? How did your virtual exchange help you achieve your academic or professional success?
  • Share about new friendships with peers abroad that you made through your virtual exchange. How have these friendships affected you?
  • What is something new that you learned during your virtual exchange, either about yourself or others, that has changed your view of the world?
  • How have new skills that you developed during your virtual exchange helped you throughout your life (personally, academically, and/or professionally)? Skills to consider can be hard skills, such as coding, math, entrepreneurship, and language competency. You may also consider soft skills, like self-awareness, social-awareness, self-management, relationship, and responsible decision-making. Soft skills demonstrate personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people.
    • Examples of self-awareness skills: identifying your emotions, identifying your abilities (in other words, what you’re good at), examining prejudices and biases.
    • Examples of social-awareness skills: taking others’ perspectives, recognizing strengths in others, demonstrating empathy and compassion.
    • Examples of self-management skills: managing your emotions, identifying and using stress-management strategies, setting personal and collective goals.
    • Examples of relationship skills: communicating effectively, developing positive relationships, practicing teamwork, and collaborative problem-solving.
    • Examples of responsible decision-making: demonstrating curiosity and open-mindedness, identifying solutions for personal and social problems, reflecting on your role in personal, family, and community well-being.

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