The US State Department will be hosting a group of five directors from newly-formed Greek university career centers on a cultural exchange called the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).
In contrast to EU directives, Greece does not allow the operation of private universities, and for its public educational institutions, career centers are something new.
While American students expect their universities to offer assistance with professional mentoring, alumni networking and personal branding, Greeks used to rely on their family network and political affiliations to find a job until the recent crisis.
With over 50% youth unemployment rate, the demand has never been greater for career centers in Greece. Most of the existing centers remain understaffed and underfunded, despite a strong commitment among them to modernize the way that students start their careers.
Now, career center directors will travel to the US to take away methods that will help even more students find employment or establish their own enterprise(s).
Beginning September 13, they will visit their counterparts in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and Detroit to take back best practices in connecting education to employment.
“This exchange program is an opportunity to assist the next generation of Greek students by showcasing how career services are offered at American educational institutions, both in the public and private sector, says George Mesthos of the US Department of State who coordinates the visit.
Participants will stay in the United States for ten days. Their journey starts in Washington, D.C., where they will participate in a workshop and meet with professional counterparts to discuss partnerships between universities and employers, university engagement with alumni and support for professional career center staff.
From there, they will continue across the country, to Baltimore, Philadelphia and then Detroit, where participants will speak with their American counterparts about online education, entrepreneurial promotion, as well as internship and mentorship programs.
Ultimately, the program aims to help participants develop new ideas for expanding their career center services and attract private sector funding with the goal of increasing the prosperity of Greek youth.
World Learning administers the IVLP in partnership with the US Department of State. IVLP is the US Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. Through short-term visits to the United States, current and emerging foreign leaders in a variety of fields, experience this country firsthand and cultivate lasting relationships with their American counterparts.