Iraqi Students to Learn Environmental Sustainability, Leadership at Colorado State University throughout July

Note to Reporters: To ensure student security, interested media must contact Emily Wilmsen in advance at (970) 491-2336 or

A group of Iraqi students will visit Colorado State University for nearly a month starting this week to learn about advocacy and environmental sustainability in hopes of creating positive change in Iraq.

Colorado State University is one of only four U.S. institutions hosting Iraqi university students this summer as part of the 2011 Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program. It is the fourth year that CSU will host the program, which is implemented by World Learning, a Washington-based non-profit organization, and funded by the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

“The students will learn about U.S. culture, volunteerism, community involvement and environmental sustainability,” said Julie Sullivan, academic director for the CSU program in collaboration with the Office of International Programs. “Experiential learning is an important aspect of our program – they will have real hands-on experience and a lot of fun.”

Students will spend some time in the classroom but mainly will be engaged in service-learning projects with such organizations as the Poudre Wilderness Volunteers and the CSU Environmental Learning Center.

Media are invited to cover the following events involving students:

State Capitol: Colorado State Capitol tour hosted by state Rep. Randy Fischer. Students will also meet Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia.
Habitat for Humanity: Students will volunteer on a project hosted by the St. Vrain chapter of Habitat for Humanity.
CSU’s Pingree Park: Students will learn leadership, team building and communication and complete the Ropes Challenge Course at Pingree Park.
Colorado Rockies: Students will take in a Colorado Rockies game at Coors Field.
Harvest Farm: Students will be introduced to service learning, organic farming and sustainability at Harvest Farm, run by the Denver Rescue Mission.
Cheyenne Frontier Days: Students get a taste of cowboy life at Cheyenne Frontier Days.

Students attend workshops in Washington, D.C., that focus on topics such as diversity, cross-cultural communication, conflict resolution and cultural readjustment before and after their visit to CSU. The students also will create action plans for projects to be implemented upon their return home.

For more information, visit