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Deepanshu’s Trip to the Kennedy Space Center

This Christmas I got the best gift of my life from my host family. I went to my grandparents’ house in Florida for a week with my host mom. We planned a day-long trip to Kennedy Space center on Christmas day. I am a big...

Farnaiza’s Experience at World Food Prize

The world’s population is going to hit 9.7 billion by 2050 and when that time comes, the world may not be able to sustain the amount of mouths to feed. And especially that climate change has brought up extreme challenges along with the rise of...

Where Are They Now? Part Two

We know it's hard to forget an exchange student once they finish their year here in the United States, especially as a host family. That’s why we started our “Where Are They Now?” series to ask some of our alumni what they have been up...

Where Are They Now? Part One

As our many host families know, you never forget your exchange student, and are often left wondering “What are they up to now?” At IRIS, we keep in contact with your alumni once they return home and are delighted to hear their stories of how they are impacting their...

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: WARDA BELEM

By Warda Belem (YES 2017-2018, Mali, hosted by IRIS in Shenandoah, IA) Originally posted on the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study website While on the YES program, I was in the beautiful town of Shenandoah in the state of Iowa. My placement organization, IRIS, and my host...

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: MUSSA MBUGI

By Mussa Mbugi (YES 2012-2013, Tanzania, recruited by IRIS, hosted by ASEE in Redmond, OR) Originally posted on the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study website My exchange year taught me that the more you give back to the community, the more you develop in your profession, and...

CPR Training in Tunisia

It’s not often we are presented a situation where our presence could mean the difference between life and death for someone. However, few people are educated on what steps to take when put into these emergency situations. According to an article published by the PLoS...

Students Attend Iowa Youth Institute at Iowa State University

Each year in April, high school students across the state of Iowa are invited to attend the day-long Iowa Youth Institute (IYI) held at Iowa State University. Put on by the World Food Prize, the IYI allows eighth through twelfth graders the chance to explore...

What It’s Like to Host, Part Two

In the second part of our hosting series, IRIS highlights Alexis Vosburg and her family's experience with hosting. Alexis Vosburg is a busy woman. She’s a full-time teacher, an IRIS local coordinator, a mother, a Sunday School leader and more. However, having such a busy...

Snow, nightlife, & shopping – My Christmas in Iowa

Snow, nightlife, and shopping. Those are indeed the best elements for this holiday season. But that’s just Christmas from the outside. Christmas from the inside is a whole other story, and let me tell you about it. Hiba (second row) at her church's Christmas concert. To...