HI USA’s IOU Respect program aims to break barriers by gathering a diverse group of young individuals for a two-week cultural exchange program. Participants come from six countries – the US, Egypt, France, Germany, Lebanon and Tunisia – and travel to two cities where they take part in facilitated dialogue sessions, team-building project work and group outings and activities.
HI USA believes travel should be accessible to everyone, and one way we’re helping make this possible is through the Explore the World scholarship. Eighty-one $2,000 scholarships will be awarded to individuals who are keen to venture overseas on an educational or service learning journey. If you’re interested in taking a trip to deepen your understanding of people, places, and cultures, this scholarship might be for you.
from far and wide
that stayed with us and others
and brought the word
'hostel' to me and dreams
of train trips to Europe and Japan
to my sisters.
We threw parties
that threw open the gates
opening our fences
joining our backyards,
for a few nights
before returning to our
-Jane, HI Pigeon Point Lighthouse
One of the many perks of traveling is that, even when you’re not really trying, you’re expanding your mind. You’re figuring out how to navigate unfamiliar territory, you’re learning about different cultures and customs, and you’re discovering things about yourself that you might not have discovered in your comfort zone. So, while your mind is in sponge-mode – absorbing everything that you possibly can – we figure it’s a good idea to take advantage of that and see what else you can learn.
As another year comes to an end, we all start thinking about the 12 months ahead and how we can try make them a little better than the ones before. And if your resolutions for the coming year include more travel, we’ve got some suggestions you can take on the road. So, never mind about eating less gluten or calling your parents more (although, on second thought, maybe you should call your parents more). Instead, let’s usher in the new year with set of resolutions you can stick to. We hope they enrich your experiences and open you up to new adventures and new friends!
Tis the season for much merrymaking and festivity and we think that there’s no better place to be than at one of our hostels. While being away from home at this time of the year can get a little lonely, it can also be extra special when you come together with fellow travelers and form a temporary family to celebrate with. Whether it’s in the heart of a major city, or far out in the country with only the stars for Christmas lights, you’ll be able to get into the spirit of things at some great events both big and small hosted at our hostels.