Access Program | The American University of Iraq Sulaimani

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Access Program

AUIS Announces 2021 Access Program

  AUIS is pleased to announce that it will be running the U.S State Department-funded Access Program. The Access Program provides an opportunity for students in Sulaimani to learn about U.S. leadership and cultural values, deepen their knowledge of the English language, and take an active part in the development of Kurdistan.   The program consists of two components: 1. English language lessons according to the students’ level, and 2. Cultural and leadership activities that build your understanding of the United States.    Program Dates: The program is a 2 year program that will start on July 4th, 2021.   Financial Support: The Access Program pays for the student’s tuition, books, and transportation costs.   Program Requirements: Applicants must provide: A completed Application form that you can find here: An identity card or birth certificate (original and copy); A report card/certificate from school (original and copy)/transcript; Documents confirming the status of low-income families: certificate identifying members in household, and noting how many children are present/certificate of disability or loss of a breadwinner/yearly family certificate of income/income from pensions/certificate of parental divorce. Application deadline:  The deadline to apply for the program is June 5, 2021.   Contact Information: For more information about the access program, please contact Ahmed Aram: [email protected]  or call AUIS:  +964 053 511 2020.

Access student shares impact of IYLEP program and plans to change his community

  The following is an interview with Nali Hiwa, a student in the Access Microscholarship Program, and recent participant in the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP). What made you interested in applying for IYLEP? I heard about IYLEP from my friends who always talked about it. I thought it would be a great opportunity to meet people from different cultures. I also wanted the certificate, which would open doors to a lot of things. I applied to learn things from other people, learn about the culture of the United States, share the culture of my country, and improve my English. I also like to travel. How was the application process? I heard about IYLEP in 2016 and was thinking about it for a while.  I started volunteering in 2017 because it’s required to be accepted into the program. I asked some alumni about the application process and they all encouraged me to apply. I thought a lot about what to write in my application. How did the Access Program help you with IYLEP? Access helped with the interview because of the workshops we have had. Meeting the teachers from other countries helped as well. In the interview, if they know that you have socialized with other people and want to meet new people, it will increase your chances of getting accepted. Also, Access has helped with my language skills because of the native speakers who taught us. Are there any similarities between the approach in IYLEP and Access? IYLEP is very practical. We learned about gender studies and visited an organization that works against domestic violence, sexual abuse, and gender inequality in Helena, Montana. In Access it’s more theoretical. I learned about smart goals, which were repeated in IYLEP, but because I learned it in Access I felt that I was one step ahead of everyone. They were talking about it and I knew all the stuff already. How do you see Iraq now as compared to before IYLEP? When I heard the word “Iraq,” I thought Arabs from the south hate [Kurds] and would never want to meet us. But the people were really nice and they even raised the Kurdish flag in front of the White House. Now, it is quite different. We can share the concept of peace. We can live together even though we have been separated, and live as humans and not by our nationality. What did you take away from your IYLEP experience and how are you planning to serve your community? Seeing different cultures opened my eyes to what needs to be changed in my community. Seeing all these organizations and the culture in Helena helped me see what needs to be changed and what I should do. It also showed me that we have things that they do not have. The kids did not care about their parents as much as we do. When a child turns 18, they leave and depend on themselves. Here it is different; until the child gets married they live with their families and when the parents get older they live with the children. The problem is that when it is time to depend on ourselves we cannot do so easily. I think there should be a mix between both cultures. For how to serve our community, we are planning a project, with IYLEP and DYLEP, and have applied to the DYLEP fellowship fund for about $2500 to work on community organization. When someone has an idea to do something and they do not have support, we support them financially or find them funds and help with volunteers. We are planning four projects and if we get the funds. One of the projects is on recycling. We are also trying to increase access to books. We will record audiobooks in Kurdish and spread them via Youtube or Soundcloud. Some people who have sight disability can listen to them. This would also help people who do not have time to read. We will also do a workshop about things we learned in IYLEP, which would be an IYLEP experience without being in IYLEP. Finally, we want to create a  Youtube channel, a Facebook page, or a website where we will subtitle documentaries to Kurdish from English. 

AUIS holds graduation for Access students

  On Thursday, November 8, 2018, American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) hosted a graduation ceremony for participants of the Access program at the University. AUIS  partnered with the U.S. Department of State to provide 75 tenth, eleventh, and twelfth graders from economically disadvantaged backgrounds in Sulaimani a chance for a better future. The English Access Microscholarship Program offered the selected students classroom instruction to improve their English language and critical thinking skills while they participated in service learning projects to foster community engagement and develop leadership. The two-year scholarship program allowed students to learn not only English but also about American culture and customs. AUIS was proud to host such an amazing program and wish the graduating students the best of luck in their future endeavors.  The AUIS Communications Department produced a promotional video documenting the final months of the Access program. Check out the video here:

Access Program hosts Model UN Simulation

  The Access Program hosted a day-long Model UN simulation at AUIS on July 12, 2018, capping a two-week Summer session that invited a select group of high school students from Sulaimani to participate in educational classes.   Student teams represented member states of the United Nations and prepared statements on issues ranging from cyber terrorism to human rights. Students then voted for which teams they felt won each round. Certificates were presented to all participants for their hard work. The AUIS Access Program is a two-year, U.S. Embassy in Iraq-supported initiative called the English Access Micro-scholarship Program, and is funded by the U.S. State Department. Access gives talented high school students in Sulaimani an opportunity to learn about U.S. culture and values, while deepening their knowledge of the English language and equipping them with skills to take an active part in the development of Kurdistan.  

AUIS Hosts Opening Ceremony of Access Program for High School Students in Sulaimani

 June 14, 2017 - Sulaimani (KRG, Iraq): The American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) today hosted a ceremony to officially welcome 75 high school students who have been selected to join The English Access Microscholarship Program (Access) at AUIS. The two-year program has been fully funded by the U.S. Department of State. The opening ceremony was attended by the students and their families, senior officials from the U.S. Consulate in Erbil, and members of the AUIS community. AUIS started to implement the Access Program in December 2016. The program enrolled 75 talented students from local high schools in Sulaimani through an intensive application process. The program will provide a foundation of English language skills and build a deeper understanding of US history and academic values through after-school classes and intensive sessions. Speaking at the ceremony, the Director of Academic Administration and Accreditation, Rachel Gresk, said: “As always with education, one of the most rewarding results is the growth we see in the students. English skills, critical thinking, and simple friendships have all deepened and improved over the course of a few months. I personally love that the Access program brings diversity to AUIS. We have students representing 32 different high schools of Sulaimani. This brings new experiences and perspectives to the campus, so we all benefit.” In the last few months, students have attended classes to increase their basic English language skills, as well as lessons about topics in American history such as the civil rights movement, underground railroad, and Valentine’s Day traditions. The students have been working on their reading skills, vocabulary, and internet communication technologies in computer labs. Students also participated in a community service project, helping to pick up trash at a local park to celebrate Earth Day on April 22. The Access Program will run for two years until December, 2018. About the Access Program The English Access Microscholarship Program (Access) provides a foundation of English language skills to talented 13-20 year-olds from economically disadvantaged sectors through after-school classes and intensive sessions. Access gives participants English skills that may lead to better jobs and educational prospects. Participants also gain the ability to compete for and participate in future exchanges and study in the United States. Since its inception in 2004, approximately 95,000 students in more than 85 countries have participated in the Access Program. For more information on the Access Program at AUIS, please contact Rachel Gresk at [email protected] Click here to view the photo album.

Access Program Opening Ceremony

  The American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) will host a ceremony to give out certificates to 80 high school students selected to attend the Access Program, funded by the U.S. Department of State.  The English Access Microscholarship Program (Access) provides a foundation of English language skills to talented 13-20 year-olds from economically disadvantaged sectors through after-school classes and intensive sessions. AUIS began to implement the Access Program in December of 2016. The program enrolled 80 local high school students from surrounding high schools in Sulaimani.  Contact: Rachel Laribee Gresk, Director of Academic Administration and Accreditation | [email protected] 
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