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Middle East Partnership Initiative at PSU

In 2012, Portland State University joined five other institutions of higher education from across the United States as part of the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) program. Funded and administered by the U.S. Department of State, the MEPI program brings students from the Middle East and North Africa to participate in a five-week program hosted by these universities. PSU’s program, called ACT!, is collaboratively designed by the Division of Public Administration in the College of Public and Urban Affairs, the Conflict Resolution Department, and Mercy Corps (MC), in close collaboration with Student Leaders for Service (SLS), which seeks to utilize experiential learning as a springboard for developing civic leadership skills. ACT! offers a multi-dimensional learning approach geared toward equipping MEPI participants with an extensive inventory of knowledge and skills to help them develop as civic leaders and participate in community development efforts in their home communities.

U.S. Department of State Student Leaders Exchange

The Student Leaders program is an intensive 6-week exchange program to the United States for approximately 100 undergraduate students from the Middle East and North Africa. Students are divided among six U.S. academic institutions where they develop leadership skills and expand their understanding of civil society, the democratic process, and how both may be applied in their home communities. Participants have the opportunity to meet their American peers, engage in local community based learning activities, and observe and take part in the governmental process on the local, state, and federal levels. The institutes include academic coursework, as well as study tours to various regions of the United States. Upon completion of the U.S.-based programs, host institutes work with participants to implement civic engagement programs in their home communities. An alumni event is generally held in the region approximately 6 months after the U.S. portion of the program.

Visit the U.S. Department of State MEPI Student Leaders Program website for more information.

See the U.S. Department of State MEPI Home Page for program-wide news and events.

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region

The MENA region is made up of the following countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, the Palestinian Territories of Gaza and the West Bank, Qater, Saudia Arabia, Tunisia, the United Arab Emerites, and Yemen.