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Cultural Vistas to Host Free Event at Martin Guitar Factory

By Colin McEvoy on September 22, 2016

The 2015-16 cohort of the Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program, a professional exchange Cultural Vistas has administered for more than 30 years, visits Berlin. (courtesy photo)

The 2015-16 cohort of the Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program, a professional exchange Cultural Vistas has administered for more than 30 years, visits Berlin. (courtesy photo)

UPDATE: Due to unforeseen circumstances, this event has been cancelled and will be postponed to a later date. For more information about Cultural Vistas, contact [email protected] or browse their website at www.culturalvistas.org.

A nonprofit organization that develops international professional exchanges is inviting the Lehigh Valley community to learn more about it, while also enjoying some live music at the Martin Guitar factory.

Cultural Vistas is hosting a free event entitled “An Introduction to Cultural Vistas” on Oct. 12 at the lobby and museum of C.F. Martin & Company at 510 Sycamore Street in Nazareth. Visit the Eventbrite page to register or for more information.

Founded in 1963, Cultural Vistas helps close to 6,000 students, professionals, and emerging leaders each year, seeking to develop international professional experiences and empower people to drive positive change in themselves, their organizations, and society.

Cultural Vistas runs about three dozen exchange programs, both inside and outside the United States. Through its role as a J-1 Visa sponsor, it welcomes international interns, teachers, and trainees from more than 140 countries into thousands of U.S. businesses, non-governmental organizations, and classrooms.

“Many companies are unaware of the possibilities of using the J-1 Visa to help grow both technical and cultural understanding between offices in different nations,” said Dan Ewert, Vice President, Program Research, Partnerships & Innovation at Cultural Vistas.

“Including international interns and trainees from an overseas office – or welcoming international interns or trainees in a workplace if the company does not have an international operation – helps to share information about different markets,” Ewert said. “It allows management and front-line staff the opportunity to better understand differences in both production/service delivery and cultural nuances which can ultimately affect the difference between success and failure.”

Alumni of the Cultural Vistas’ programs – 100,000 and counting – comprise prominent leaders in governments, Fortune 500 companies, international media outlets, NGOs, tech startups, and human rights organizations, among others.

Helping to organize the Oct. 12 event are Cheryl Matherly, Vice President and Vice Provost, International Affairs at Lehigh University, and Jacqueline Renner, President of Martin Guitar. Matherly is a past member of the Cultural Vistas board, and Renner is a current member.

Renner is also an alumna of the Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program, one of Cultural Vistas’ signature programs: a fully-funded professional development program in Germany for accomplished young Americans in business, economics, journalism, law, and public policy.

Lehigh University shares Cultural Vistas’ commitment to the importance of international professional experiences, Matherly said.

Lehigh enrolls more than 1,000 international students, and over 40 percent of students graduate having completed a significant international experience. Among the university’s signature programs is the Iacocca International Internship Program, which provides support for students to participate in experiences abroad that prepare them for the global workplace.

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