Office of International Programs partners with Global Ties Detroit to host visitors from Argentina and Belarus

Argentina delegation at Reuther LibraryDelegations from Argentina and Belarus recently visited campus to learn about best practices in labor issues and entrepreneurship to help implement positive change in their home countries. The visits were arranged by the Office of International Programs (OIP), which frequently host visitors sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, according to OIP Associate Director Jaclyn Assarian.

"Most members of the group from Argentina are either active in organized labor in their own industries or work with unions. They visited Wayne State through the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), arranged by our partner Global Ties Detroit."

IVLP is a short-term exchange for professionals from other countries to study a specific topic in-depth in the U.S. context. Global Ties Detroit Program Director Rasha Almulaiki was the point person for the six-member Argentinean delegation, which received an overview of the U.S. labor market from Marick Masters, director of Labor@Wayne, and also toured the Reuther Library and learned about the importance of archival collections for today’s U.S. labor union movement.

Belarus at LaunchPad"Global Ties Detroit is grateful to longstanding partners, such as Wayne State University, for the institution's collaborative effort in building bridges of cross-cultural communication and informative exchange between our local and international communities," Almulaiki says. 

The Community Connections group from Belarus visited Innovation Warriors, Wayne State’s entrepreneurship hub, to discuss best practices in entrepreneurship education and the Blackstone Launchpad program with Aubrey Agee, senior program administrator of Innovation Warriors.

“The Community Connections Program is funded through the United States Agency for International Development’s Bureau of Education Growth and Trade/Office of Education,” Assarian says. “The broad public diplomacy goal of the program is to contribute to economic and democratic reform and to promote mutual understanding through exposure to U.S. society and personal connections with Americans and participant countries.”

The 10 Belarusian participants – all women – learned about promoting an entrepreneurial mindset and culture, with the goal of developing entrepreneurial and management skills in schoolchildren to support free market economies. Their home projects range from creating a business incubator for teens ages 15-17, to launching a mini MBA program for children. Participants were in Detroit for three full weeks, allowing them to develop sustainable connections with their American hosts.  

On a lighter note, the group visited Laura Kline's Russian class. Kline, a senior lecturer in Russian and director of the Global Studies Program, provided students an opportunity to practice their language skills with native speakers while enjoying lots of black tea, cookies, pastry and laughter.


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