Ready, Set, PDO: Kosovar Scholars Off to the United States
Last week, the third group of USAID’s Transformational Leadership Program scholars began their Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO), the final hurdle for this diverse group of 55 Master’s degree scholarship winners.
The Pre-Departure Orientation is a two-day event during which students receive information on US culture, diversity, legal matters, culture shock and the general logistics of studying abroad.
The session opened with remarks by TLP-SP Chief of Party Carl Hammerdorfer, USAID Mission in Kosovo’s Acting Economic Growth Director Brian Fahey, and the Ministry of Education Science and Technology’s Director of Higher Education Drita Kadriu.
“In our eyes, you are Kosovo’s future innovators and job-creators with great ideas,” said Mrs. Kadriu. “We have had great experiences with past TLP-SP scholars.”
“When you arrive in the United States, you will arrive as Ambassadors of Kosovo," added Mr. Fahey. "That's an important responsibility."
The event provides students with information on logistics, leadership, culture, and higher education in the US, while also giving the students ample opportunity to bond and form an identity as a cohort.
Jessica Ellerbach, Senior Program Officer in World Learning’s Washington DC office, facilitated a variety of Pre-Departure Orientation sessions with the help of local staff.
“I’m so excited to be leaving for Vanderbilt soon,” said Kaltrina Temaj, one of this year’s scholarship winners. “And I’m so grateful to the TLP-SP program for making my journey that much easier.”
This cohort’s students leave for the United States by August and September of this year. The consensus among students is that they will change a great deal over the next two years. Upon their return, they expect to bring positive change to their organizations and to a rapidly changing Kosovo
The Transformational Leadership Program - Scholarships and Partnerships (TLP-SP) is a partnership co-funded by USAID-Kosovo and the Government of Kosovo and administered by World Learning. The project, launched on February 24, 2014, will develop a cadre of leaders and equip the abilities of other Kosovars to drive change in priority economic, political, and social areas in Kosovo. Learn more at www.usaid-tlp-sp.org.