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International Exchanges

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The George C. Marshall International Center (GCMIC) promotes international cooperation in the spirit of the Marshall Plan through educational exchanges at the high school, university, and young professional level.

GCMIC's Student Partnership Exchange Program (SPEP®), now in its ninth year, is a unique, reciprocal exchange program for high school students. SPEP® is part of GCMIC’s Marshalling® Experience Programs. Founded in 2006 as a key element of the sister county partnership between Loudoun County, VA and Main-Taunus-Kreis, Germany (MTK), SPEP® became a part of GCMIC’s education programs in 2008. GCMIC has expanded SPEP® to include programs in Vaihingen, Germany, Vienna, Austria, Metz and Saint-Cyr-Loire in France. In 2015, GCMIC launched its first Marshalling®  STEM (M-STEM) program in partnership with EIT, LLC in Sterling, VA and Zollner Electronik AG in Zandt, Germany. The M-STEM is part of GCMIC’s Marshalling® Competence Programs. Participants in this pilot program were students who are interested in pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

Student Partnership Exchange Program (SPEP®)

For two weeks in March, April, September or October, German, Austrian or French students visit Northern Virginia to experience daily life in America. The first two groups of French SPEP® students will visit Loudoun County in March and April of 2016. SPEP® students live with host families and participate in career explorations that give them first-hand experience in business in the United States. Among the local businesses participating in our SPEP® as career exploration sites are: Abbtech, DBI Architects, Inc., the Federal Aviation Administration, Integrative Family Medicine Center, Herndon Animal Medical Center, INOVA Loudoun Hospital, Leesburg Pharmacy, Leesburg Now, Loudoun County Government, Loudoun Times Mirror, Loudoun County Public Schools, Pennoni Associates, Inc., Presti & Company, Inc., REHAU and the Town of Leesburg.

In June or November, U.S. students travel to Germany, Austria or France to experience daily life in a European country that participated in the Marshall Plan. Our students live with host families, attend German, Austrian or French schools, visit cultural and heritage sites, and participate in career exploration experiences. Many of our students travel to explore a new culture and improve their foreign language proficiency. Participants are not required to be fluent in German or French to participate in our SPEP®.

Marshalling® STEM (M-STEM)

GCMIC’s M-STEM illustrates a key element of the Marshall Plan: international cooperation, which was critical to the industrial production and advances in technology needed to rebuild Europe after World War II. In today’s global economy, international cooperation is key to success. Our M-STEM gives participants the opportunity to gain first-hand experience with the work environment in foreign businesses that rely on science, technology engineering and math for their operations. In the pilot program, US students lived and worked with trainees at Zollner Electronik AG’s plant in Zandt, Germany. In the reciprocal exchange, Zollner trainees lived with the US students they hosted and spent two weeks with employees at EIT’s plant in Sterling, VA.

To see more details about these programs and for application materials select the below links.

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