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The Founding Organization of ASPIRE Worldwide:
ASSE International Student Exchange Programs (ASSE) was founded by the Swedish Ministry of Education. It cooperates closely with the provincial Ministries of Education in Canada. In the United States, ASSE has been designated by the U.S. Department of State as an "exchange-visitor" program and adheres strictly to all Department of State regulations. ASSE has also been approved for listing by the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET).
The history of ASSE goes back to the 1930's when the Swedish Parliament instituted an exchange program for Swedish and German students. In the post World War II era, this was expanded to include England, France, Spain and Switzerland. The U.S.A. entity was added in the 1960's, when the Swedish government's National Department of Education organized in the U.S.A. In 1976 the program was incorporated in North America as American Scandinavian Student Exchange (ASSE) to provide student exchange opportunities between the Scandinavian countries and the U.S.A. ASSE has evolved and expanded in size and scope to provide academic year home-stay programs in Canada (English and French-speaking), New Zealand, Australia, the U.S.A., Scandinavia (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland), France, Germany, German-speaking Switzerland, Great Britain, Poland Italy, Portugal, Spain, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union, Mexico, Japan, China, Taiwan, Thailand, South Africa, Turkey, Yugoslavia, and Brazil.
ASSE also provides short term homestay language study and campus programs in Europe, as well as 3-month reciprocal exchanges with France, Germany and Spain. ASSE is proud to participate in the prestigious Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program between the U.S.A. and Germany, as well as the FLEX program (Future Leaders Exchange Program), a U.S.A. government-sponsored program that brings hundreds of students to the U.S.A. from the Independent Republics of the former Soviet Union.
In addition to all of the above, ASSE founded in the late 1989 the EurAupair Program, a not-for-profit, public benefit organization by funding it in its initial stage and applying for the original designation. For more information about intercultural exchange and live-in aupair programs, please click aupair or visit www.euraupair.com
Most recently, ASSE became a designated sponsor for the Summer Work Travel Programand the Trainee Program. As a result, ASPIRE Worldwide was founded to promote these programs. The Summer Work Travel Program provides summer employment opportunities to university students in the USA, and the Trainee Program facilitates recently graduated professionals and specialists to spend up to 18 months training in their field in an American corporation or professional/vocational group. While the above programs are separate and completely different entities, they share a common mission and philosophy: To improve understanding among people of different countries through cultural exchange.
ASSE maintains its headquarters in Laguna Beach, California, U.S.A., an international coordinating office in Germany, four regional American offices, one Canadian, and one New Zealand office. In addition, ASSE maintains a network of affiliated organizations throughout the rest of the world with 1500 ASSE Area Representatives throughout the Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, and Asia.
In several countries, ASSE has a very active alumni group, which is composed of students that have participated in past programs. The members act as Counselors, helpers, interviewers and resource people for students embarking on ASSE programs, or taking part in them. They provide a singularly effective support group when a student, far from home, or about to begin a big adventure, needs preparation help and assurance.
ASSE's primary goal is to provide exchange programs, which enable students to learn about other languages and cultures while participating in community life and helping achieve international understanding.
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