International Exchange has a Lasting Impact: Milan Radovic's visit to Iowa
Updated: Jan 24
International exchange has a lasting impact on all parties involved. Lifetime Member Denise Tiffany recently shared with us an account written by the wife of International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) alum Milan Radovic detailing the impact of her spouse's time in eastern Iowa. Milan of Montenegro visited eastern Iowa in 2017 for a multi-regional program called “NGOs and Civic Activism,” and enjoyed an Iowa Table Dinner with Denise and her family during his stay. Denise sent home ESL books with Milan for his wife, who is an English teacher, and the two became acquainted over the internet. Since then, they have exchanged Christmas presents and stayed connected digitally.
“...My husband's visit to Iowa and to you and your family as a project manager of the NGO Civic Alliance [was] of great importance for the professional part of his work. In fact, during his stay in Iowa, everything he experienced, learnt, and saw had great significance for him. He gained invaluable experience, learned a lot about democracy, human rights and life in a free society, i.e., in a society that provides equal opportunities to every person. He transferred everything he learned and experienced in Iowa to his colleagues here in Montenegro, who in seminars and round tables passed it on to other citizens throughout Montenegro and the Balkans.
[Another] one of the invaluable gains is the understanding of diversity, other cultures, history, habits and customs. His [stay with] your family was an excellent opportunity to create friendships, connect families and understand the life and work of an American family. Today, we are richer [in] many friendships, established contacts and the exchange of news, information, messages and wishes between us.
My husband's group, which consisted of six [other] participants [from Egypt, Chile, Zimbabwe, Tunisia, Sri Lanka and Hungary] participated in activities of multi-project organized by CIVIC, which today is called Global Ties [Iowa] from September 13 to 19, 2017. They visited eastern Iowa. During their stay there, they visited and learnt many facts about places such as the Old Capitol, [the Natural History Museum], Prairie Lights Bookstore, the University [of Iowa], [Kinnick] Stadium and other sights. They had a lot to see, learn and of course enjoy.
My husband's stay there had great significance for me, my children, [and] my immediate and extended family. His presentation about his stay there had a great impact on our understanding of life in America, since America has always been and will be a country of freedom, a country of democracy, i.e., a dream country for us. Of course, we have gained you and your family as friends, which is of inestimable importance to us. In short, [we still talk about] the stay in Iowa, about you and your family, [and] about the time spent there... with friends, relatives, colleagues and everyone else.”
We sincerely thank Denise Tiffany and Milan Radovic’s spouse for sharing this story with us. If you or anyone else you know has been impacted by Global Ties Iowa-facilitated international exchange, please share your story with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to amplify it and share the impact of cross-cultural exchange with the world!