LearnServe Egypt is a US-Egypt exchange to promote entrepreneurship, innovation and cross-cultural understanding in American and Egyptian college students. Over the course of the first six-week program, held during summer 2011, students formed bilateral teams, and drafted business plans for socially responsible ventures that made a positive social and economic contribution to the development of Egypt in the post-revolution era.
During Phase One, in the first two weeks, students in the United States traveled to Cairo to meet with their Egyptian counterparts to form teams and began designing their business ventures. Phase Two consisted of two weeks during which the students continued their work in virtual teams, each from within their respective countries, connecting with their group members through the use of telecollaboration tools, such as e-mail, video conferencing, and blogs. In this way, students got first-hand experience navigating today’s logistical reality of conducting international business. In the final two weeks, Phase Three, the Egyptian students traveled to the United States, splitting their time between Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, meeting with their group members and finalizing their proposals.
The program’s curriculum emphasized intercultural understanding and camaraderie, leadership, language development and other business skills. Throughout the program, as they honed their business plans, students met with experts in the field of international business and public policy in order to receive feedback and develop their ideas and global partnerships. At the conclusion of Phase 1 and Phase 3, student teams pitched their business plans to panels of investors, business and government sector leaders in Egypt and the US, respectively.
LearnServe Egypt, a not-for-profit program, emerges from a unique trilateral partnership: First, it is operated by the Institute for Education in Washington, DC, (www.instituteforeducation.org) whose mission is to recognize, encourage, and promote civility and leadership locally, nationally, and in the world community. The primary sponsor is Mercator XXI (www.mercatorxxi.com), a global consulting firm also in DC, whose mission is to help clients engage the global economy. And it is directed by the Sicola Consulting Group (www.sicolaconsulting.com), a Philadelphia-based consulting company specializing in culturally and linguistically aware business and educational training programs. These institutions have joined together to create a unique curriculum that prepares young people to succeed in the global economy as innovative leaders and entrepreneurs.
- Download the LearnServe Egypt Brochure in PDF
- Read the LearnServe Egypt 2011 blog posts and Twitter feeds at www.ifeegypt.org
- Learn more about the LearnServe program at the American University of Cairo site
Laura Sicola, PhD
Program director, LearnServe Egypt
Sicola Consulting Group