When We Let Languages Die

Nathania Silahi, YGI Staff Writer

All of us are settling into the new rhythm of the new year – some with clear goals for 2016 already ingrained in the backs of their minds. Over the winter break, I was fortunate enough to fly from Indonesia to explore a handful of countries in central and eastern Europe. The entire experience was amazing, but it also triggered deep self-reflection when the new year rolled along. I’ve always been aware of English linguistic hegemony. However, the issue never escalated to a point where I felt like I needed to do something to counteract these forces of linguistic erosion. In airports and museums, I heard tourists struggle when they couldn’t speak English and I watched as they failed to find brochures published in their native language.

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A Look at Climate Change

Maria Mutka, YGI Staff Writer

Amid the contrasting opinions of different skeptics, scientists, world leaders, and activists on the subject of climate change, it can be hard to get to the truth about this important topic. It can be difficult to the biased stances that both climate change activists and deniers can take. Yet, the environment, and how climate change affects it, is a topic that requires discussion because many do not fully understand it.

To properly define climate change, it is necessary to describe everything involved in it. Underneath the big umbrella of climate change are global warming, issues with rising sea levels, ice melting, and more.  Something that most people might not know is that global warming is not actually the same thing as climate change.  It only represents one facet and consequence of the greater subject of climate change.

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A Call for a Change in the Approach to Politics

When Donald Trump announced his presidential campaign, much of our nation watched with our mouths hung open in shock. In the beginning of the 2016 race, many Americans regarded Donald Trump’s entrance as a publicity stunt, for he had been falsely speculated to run for presidency in 2012. Americans misjudged Trump’s capabilities, deeming it impossible that he, who had explicitly stated his opinions on America’s immigration system in his presidential announcement speech that aroused much controversy, held no chance of gaining support.

This “impossible” billionaire and real estate tycoon candidate now remains at the top of many preliminary polls for the Republican primary race, leading the Republican Party by holding 26 percent of support from registered republicans across America. In the past months, support for Trump has surged significantly, and a win of 2016 looks a little less impossible than it has been before.

Now the main question remains, “Why does Trump hold such a great amount of support?” and “What message is Trump’s popularity sending to the current status of American Politics?”

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Empowerment Over Grants: NGOs and International Development in Cambodia

This summer I had the chance to travel through Southeast Asia for 40 days on two programs with Rustic Pathways. I was able to spend time biking in Bagan, Myanmar, eating market food in Bangkok, Thailand, walking through the rice fields of Ban Ho, Vietnam, and seeing the famous elephants in Luang Prabang, Laos.

Part of the time I spent in Southeast Asia this summer, was focused on international development and the work that non-governmental organizations do, specifically in Cambodia. Many see Cambodia as a place for tourism, especially in Siem Reap. It is home to Angkor Wat, one of the most well regarded UNESCO world heritage sites in Southeast Asia. Adversely, though, the amount of tourism in Siem Reap often draws visitors away from seeing other parts of Cambodia. Many visitors would not know that Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, is the leading city in the world for non-governmental organizations. Others are often completely blindsided to learn about the tragic events that occurred during the Khmer Rouge regime. Although they were only in power from 1975-1979, the Khmer Rouge killed over 20 percent of the total population in Cambodia at the time, equaling to more than 1.5 million deaths in the span of four years.

Kompong Cham Province in Cambodia doing a needs assessment for kids at a local school
Kompong Cham Province in Cambodia doing a needs assessment for children at a local school

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한국에서 네 학교 생활 – My School Life in Korea

The United States Department of State offers a fantastic opportunity called NSLI-Y for ambitious high school aged students within the U.S. to spend a summer or academic year abroad in an intensive language learning environment. This experience offers generous merit scholarships and is offered in locations that speak Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Persian, Russian and Turkish.

One of our executive directors from Las Vegas, Nevada has spent the summer in Jeonju, South Korea and was generous enough to share a snippet of her daily routine with us.


This school was my second home throughout the program.
This school was my second home throughout the program.

Other than the two weeks I spent at a summer program last year, I have never been so busy for so long during summer break. 너무 바빠요.

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YGI Pen Pals

Welcome to YGI Pen Pals! We’re so excited to share this program with everyone!

YGI Pen Pals is essentially an effort to bridge the gap between cultures and make the world smaller. We know that it’s hard to feel connected to foreign places and people when our world is so large and the Internet so faceless, and this is a way to build a meaningful friendship with a person from an unique place that you can learn more about! By clicking on the image below, you can fill out a form for Pen Pals. We’ll then process your application and personally match you with someone who shares your interests! You might be astounded to find out how much you have in common with an individual from a country that’s on the other side of the world! Have fun, and thank you for your interest in Young Global Initiative and YGI Pen Pals!

– The YGI Team

Young Global INitiative

Weighing the Differences of Cultural Respect toward Education: Chennai, India & Memphis, Tennessee

I gaped at the heading that read “Open Records Request Reveals Schools with Most Reported Crime” – mostly because my school was listed there in black, bold letters.  With a total of 125 incidents in the past year, the only “0” was underneath Robbery.  We had, unfortunately, filled in the boxes labeled “Sex Offenses,” “Drug Offenses,” and more.  I skimmed through the article, picking up on words and phrases such as “concerned,” “frightening,” and “so much violence.”  It finally sunk in; after three and a half years of attending high school in Memphis, I accepted just what I was dealing with and surrounded by on a daily basis.  I had become so accustomed to the aggressive, unnerving, toxic environment that some of my peers had created. Attending school in India was completely different; and after spending five years immersed in such a different kind of academic rigor, how did I manage to get so used to this?

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EMIS International School Blog — Middle Eastern Voices

Rodrigo Ferreira, the Director of Finance and one of the newest members of the YGI team is originally from Salvador da Bahia, Brazil but is currently studying at the EMIS International School in Ramat Hasharon, a city in the North of Tel Aviv, Israel.

Bahai Gardens in Haifa (city North of Tel Aviv)
Bahai Gardens, Haifa.

Along with his companions, he has helped contribute to a school blog (http://blogemis.com) that features the “wonderful journeys of the 85 pioneering EMISERS from over 35 countries in forms of stories, pictures and videos.” A passionate scholar of science, Rodrigo is a regular contributor of articles pertaining to scientific pursuits. Read one of Rodrigo’s posts here: http://blogemis.com/2015/01/30/rodrigos-science-journal-3/

Old Jaffa, Tel Aviv
Old Jaffa, Tel Aviv

“EMIS an IB school in Israel with the goal of making education a force of peace and sustainability in the Middle East by uniting both Israelis and Arabs living and studying together doing the IB.”