Greenheart Exchange (formerly CCI Greenheart)
2019-2020 CSIET Certification Status: Full
Countries Served: Brazil, Cambodia, China, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam
Number of 2018-2019 Participants: 1080 (915 semester or year J-1 Inbound; 102 semester or year F-1 Inbound; 63 semester or year Outbound)
Not-for-Profit Organization: Established 1985 as Center for Cultural Interchange (now Greenheart International)
Greenheart Exchange, a branch of Greenheart International, organizes academic semester and year programs and ESL camps in the United States. Students are screened and selected in cooperation with sending partners. Selection is based on language skills, scholastic standing, cross-cultural skills, and motivation. As a nonprofit based in Chicago, Greenheart International sends and receives over 1,000 high school-aged participants annually. See Greenheart Travel’s listing for information about Academic Year/Semester Abroad under Outbound Programs and Greenheart Exchange’s listing under J-1 Inbound Programs.
Since 1985, Greenheart International has been a catalyst for global transformation through the facilitation of cultural exchange programs, eco-fair trade purchasing, personal development opportunities, volunteer service initiatives, and environmental advocacy projects. Our mission of connecting people and planet to create global leaders drives all that we do in each of our branches: Greenheart Travel, Greenheart Shop, Greenheart Transforms, and Greenheart Exchange. Greenheart International is endorsed by the City of Chicago for the promotion of international education, environmental awareness, and citizen diplomacy. With an ardent commitment to sustainable practices, a steadfast dedication to expanding worldviews, and an abiding passion for planetary change, we are guided by our vision of a united and flourishing global family.
In 2004, Greenheart International implemented an environmental and social initiative called the Greenheart Club. The Greenheart Club empowers members of our cultural exchange community to be global leaders and take action. We provide tools to track volunteer impact, funding opportunities for service projects, access to a global network, and resources for professional development. To date there have been over 100,000 collective volunteer hours logged by over 14,000 members of the Greenheart community and over 50 service projects have been awarded funding by Greenheart. We continue to expand Greenheart Club to create more robust and enriching opportunities for our participants and the communities they engage with. These opportunities include three scholarship-funded leadership programs – the Jr. Greenheart Global Leaders Conference for on-program participants, and the Greenheart Global Leaders Conference and Alumni Council for program alumni.
F-1 High School Academic Program in the United States—International high school students travel to the United States for one academic year or semester in a private or public school on an F-1 visa. Students live with paid U.S. host families and attend local high schools. Orientation is provided by Greenheart Exchange sending partners prior to departure and by Greenheart Exchange local coordinators upon arrival. Counseling and supervision are provided throughout the stay by our field network and by our Student Counselors. Program fees include medical/accident insurance. Transportation, sending partner fees, and personal expenses are additional.
Through our unique Greenheart Club, Greenheart Exchange encourages American and international participants to make a difference through active participation in environmental and social service projects. Students are encouraged to join the Greenheart Club, volunteer in their communities and to log their volunteer hours for recognition. Each year students compete for the chance take part in the Junior Greenheart Global Leaders Conference, which includes an all-expenses paid trip to Chicago. Eight participants, 18 and under, from across the Greenheart branches, will be chosen for this conference. During this time they will explore global leadership through social and environmental service, cultural exchange, and international advocacy. Students must demonstrate a commitment to volunteerism, and submit an essay and letter of recommendation to be eligible.