National Friendship Day

National Friendship Day
National Friendship Day – August 3, 2014

Friendship day is observed on the 1st Sunday in August and the US Congress proclaimed it so in 1935. Most believe this day of recognition initially began by the greeting card industry to promote the opportunity to send a greeting card to friends and family. We believe that Friendship Day is a perfect chance for both your domestic and international staff to let each other know how many their friends or co-workers are truly appreciated. Maybe it’s a chance for the department managers to recognize a single staff member who is consider an Ambassador of Friendship. For example, in 1997 the United Nations named Winnie-the-Pooh as the world’s Ambassador of Friendship. (more…)

US Road Trip

us road trip

Robin Lerner’s First Hand Experience

us road tripLet’s Take a US Road Trip: We are super excited to virtually introduce you to Robin Lerner, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. She was appointed to this position in February of 2012. Her primary responsibility is to oversee the J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program, which annually brings over 200,000 international participants to the United States to study, teach, and build life and professional skills through direct cultural experiences.


Participants' Favorite Things in America

Alliance Abroad Group’s support service team hosts a quarterly in-country participant contest. We have found this as a great way to learn more about our international participant’s story while in the United States. What was amazing about their stories is that we can all relate to them as Americans. Who doesn’t like snow, shopping, sports, or a day off from work?

We would like to introduce you to our Grand Prize and Runner Up Winners. Congratulations to all that participant and you can see all finalist here:
My Favorite Thing or Place in America

Grand Prize Winner

Participants' Favorite Things in America Contest

AnnaRose A.

Over 975 Likes on Facebook!
Home Country – Philippines
Intern Program – Minneapolis Airport Marriott
“My favorite thing is to travel when I have off so look at my coolest picture.”

Runner Up Winner

Participants' Favorite Things in America Contest

Iris M.

Over 380 Likes on Facebook!
Home Country – Philippines
Summer Work Travel Program – Great Wolf Lodge

“This picture took place in Chicago, wherein you can see the panoramic and breath taking view of the beautiful place. I chose to upload this picture because this marks my significant stay in America as a Work and Travel Participant. Never in my wildest dream that a simple person like me will be given the chance to have my first ever job in America, and with the help of my Domestic agency and sponsor, I AM NOW HERE LIVING MY DREAM!”

Father's Day

29 May

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Father’s day is right around the corner. Unlike Mother’s Day, which was established in 1908, it was not until decades later that Father’s day became an official holiday. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson declared the third Sunday in June as the official day to observe Father’s Day and in 1972, President Richard Nixon signed a proclamation making it a permanent U.S. holiday.

If you are interested in learning more about Father’s Day around the world click here:

This day is not only a wonderful opportunity to admire our fathers but also a chance for cultural exchange. We would like to recommend that you designate a bulletin board to honor your fathers. This is a creative opportunity for your international and domestic staff to introduce their fathers on the Wall of Distinction with a photo and short story of what they appreciate most about their fathers. It’s also a chance for your international staff to share Father’s Day traditions in their home countries.

Father’s Day Around the World

  • In Argentina, they celebrate on the 3rd Sunday in June.
  • In Australia, they celebrate on the 1st Sunday in September.
  • In Brazil, they celebrate on the 2nd Sunday in August.
  • In Bulgaria, they celebrate on June 20th.
  • In Iran, they celebrate on the 13th of Rajabth of on the birth anniversary of Imam Ali, the first Imam of Shia Muslims.
  • In Mexico they celebrate with an unofficial holiday on 3rd Sunday in June.
  • In Philippines, it is widely observed on the 3rd Sunday in June but is not an official holiday.
  • In Thailand, they celebrate on the birthday of the King of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej which is December 5th.
  • In Turkey, they celebrate on the 3rd Sunday in June.
  • In Russia, they continue the USSR tradition of celebrating Defender of the Fatherland Day instead of Father’s Day. It is usually called “Men’s Day” and it is considered the Russian equivalent of Father’s Day and celebrated on February 23rd.

AAG Participants Volunteer in LA

Participants Volunteer

International Participants Volunteer and Give Back to Local Community

Participants VolunteerOn May 3, AAG and our international overseas partner hosted a participant volunteer event in Los Angeles. We partnered with Food Forward, an organization that rescues fresh local produce that would otherwise go to waste, connects this abundance with people in need, and inspires others to do the same.

Food Forward has recovered a total of 2,091,284 pounds of food; 100% of excess fruits and vegetables were donated to local direct service agencies to feed the community’s most vulnerable.  Our international volunteers convened at a private property to pick oranges in Beverly Hills.

One participant shared with us her gratitude for the event:

Home Country: Korea
Intern Program: Active in USA

Hello ~ !!

This is or you can call me Vanessa. I was so happy last Saturday May 3, 2014, thank you so much! When I was picking up oranges, I almost burst into tears. I was thinking to myself ” WOW, I’m picking up oranges in USA and not just in USA but in “Beverly hills!” I was very moved by your invitation to pick up oranges and it will be the memory of my life. Also The Griffith Park was such a great place, I love it there.

Since I don’t own a car, I thought the Beverly Hills was way too far for me to go; but, because of your program I was able to go and had awesome time on Saturday. I loved this activity more cause of the people I was with. Clair from AAG was super nice and friendly I would like to thank her once again. Also, Sun Lee from ICCE was humorous and passionate about this program. I was very satisfied with this activity that AAG and ICCE has created for us interns.

I hope there is an another activity soon!

*P.S. hopefully something soon since I’m leaving to go back to Korea in Dec. 2014.
Thank you so much! <3

Learn how you can get involved with Food Forward:

Participants Volunteer

Memorial Day 2014

memorial day
Memorial Day is observed as a U.S. federal holiday on the last Monday of May.

It is a day where members of the United States Armed Forces are remembered and honored for their service and ultimately giving their life for our freedoms. Memorial Day is considered one of the most solemn American holidays and also promotes nationwide patriotism. It was formally known as Decoration Day and began shortly after the American Civil War to commemorate the Confederate and Union soldiers that died in the American Civil War. The establishment of a public holiday was meant to unify the country.


Mother's Day

mother's day
Mother’s Day in the U.S. (May 11, 2014)

As you know, Mother’s Day in the U.S. is when we honor and celebrate motherhood. May 10, 1908 marked the first official observance of Mother’s Day in the U.S. Anna Jarvis held a memorial ceremony to honor her mother (Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis) and all mothers at Andrews Methodist Church, today known as the International Mother’s Day Shrine, in Grafton, West Virginia. Mother’s Day became an official U.S. holiday in 1914. Learn more about Mother’s Day around the World


English Isn't As Easy As You Think

22 Apr

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You think English is easy?

Let’s face it – English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France . Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture..

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert..

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear..

19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?



My First Friend in America Contest

My First Friend in America

AAG’s motto is “We help you write your own story.” Each year over 8,000 J-1 visa holders sponsored by AAG travel to the U.S. to experience cultural exchange in a unique way.

To help capture their stories, we sponsored a My First Friend in America participant contest. Participants were asked to share their story in regards to their first friend in the U.S. Our grand prize winner was Alejandra Rita Quiroz Linares, a Summer Work Travel participant working at Attitash Mountain Resort in New Hampshire. You can read her story below. (more…)

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