WorldView: A Language Blog

WorldView is a place for leaders in the fields of language education, global citizenship, immersion learning and other topics central to the Concordia Language Villages mission to address issues important to their fields.

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Welcoming International Camp Counselors Back to the Villages!

By Mary Maus Kosir, Executive Director | Published: April 8, 2021

We are very pleased to announce that the Biden Administration allowed Presidential Proclamation 10052, which suspended several J-1 exchange visas, to expire last week. It had been put in place in June 2020 by the prior administration under the flawed logic that these exchange programs hurt the U.S. economy, when in fact they generated $1.4 billion as an annual contribution.

The Au Pair, Camp Counselor, Intern and Trainee, and Summer Work Travel exchange visas are reinstated! Young people across the globe will once again have life-changing experiences on short-term exchange programs to the United States as travel restrictions due to COVID are hopefully soon lifted and embassies are once again fully functioning.

Since the 1970s, exchange visitors from all around the world have been part of the Concordia Language Villages community. Each year we invite 125 individuals from more than 30 countries to join our Village staff teams. They provide the cultural authenticity that is at the heart of our immersion philosophy. Our international staff collaborate with their American colleagues to teach language in creative and engaging ways, always advancing our notions of effective language learning. Most importantly, they build bridges of understanding with villagers that make life in other parts of the world feel much closer to home.

Read what some of our international staff had to say last summer about why a J-1 exchange experience was important to them!

We thank the Alliance for International Exchange, of which Concordia Language Villages is a member, for their tireless work and endless advocacy. And we stand in solidarity with our colleagues in the exchange community as we begin to restore and rebuild our exchange programs that have been significantly impacted by the global pandemic and needless suspensions.

About the Author

Mary Maus Kosir has extensive experience in educational administration, international program development and entrepreneurialism. She speaks English and German. Mary served for over 20 years at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, first as head of International Programs and then as Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Programs. She also co-founded WholeMe, LLC, a grain-free, whole-food company based in Plymouth, Minnesota. Mary is originally from Bemidji, Minnesota and now resides in St. Paul. 

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