New Initiatives at Alliance Abroad
Our award-winning program in South Africa has fueled our passion to further develop programs that reduce barriers and empower individuals. In fact, since late 2017, we have launched three additional programs that improve access, equality, and opportunity for a greater number of youth around the world.
This new initiative assists candidates for whom program fees are a significant barrier, regardless of their origin country or program destination. Alliance Abroad defers upfront program fees, allowing participants to immediately benefit from educational and work training programs. Participants repay the fees over the course of their program. Unlike traditional forms of financing, we do not charge interest, require credit checks, or secure collateral. A microfinance model increases access to programs by 300% compared to grants. Repayments from existing participants can be used to fund new participants, meaning every initial dollar can be leveraged into three dollars of microfinance to participants. This model allows far more people to participate in the programs by replacing upfront program costs with affordable repayment plans. Scholarships provided by other organizations are not as scalable and sustainable as microfinancing, and have inherent qualifications and limitations.
Alliance Abroad has made significant investments in these programs, allocating $1.7 million US dollars in deferred participant fees. Alliance Abroad assumes full liability for payment default or participant withdrawal. In addition to this, Alliance Abroad has engaged multiple funding sources to increase the scale of this program, including a student loan company. Moreover, we are currently in negotiation with the government of Botswana for a further $500,000 USD to fund its citizens to participate.
We are establishing an office in South Africa to further engage with local communities. We aim to form alliances and partnerships to find collaborative solutions to societal and economic issues. The hope is that, together, we will create programs that lead to a more skilled and experienced labor force, improving the economic conditions in struggling communities. Our work in South Africa has also sparked interest with the Botswana government to establish a similar program for its citizens. Establishing a presence in South Africa is a testament to our commitment to deserving and under-served communities desperately in need of job-based training programs. They also signify an investment in both human and financial resources. We are confident that our local presence will create stronger community ties, and lead to more opportunities to make an impact.
Australia Work & Study Program
This new program creates access to cultural exchange experiences in Australia for participants who are ineligible for Australia’s Working Holiday Visa. This well-rounded study, work, and travel experience is open to young people from all countries. Participants enter Australia on student visas and are placed by Alliance Abroad in established English-language schools around Australia. Simultaneously, Alliance Abroad provides some participants with the opportunity to have part time, paid positions of up to twenty hours per week, with employers who are close-by and committed to helping participants achieve their language acquisition goals. This program is one of the many programs Alliance Abroad has designed to accommodate the needs of a wider variety of individuals. In fact, as a very strong desire in the ever expanding world, Alliance Abroad understands the importance of learning and bettering English language skills. Creating the opportunity to provide an English study program, while also providing individuals with the opportunity to not only meet new people but for individuals to immerse themselves in a truly beautiful culture, we believe creates the possibility to truly shift and improve the global connection we strive to export.
Alliance Abroad has leveraged its headquarters location in Austin TX, an area quickly gaining a reputation as a tech center, to create opportunities for bright young people from abroad to access work experience opportunities in cutting-edge fields. Partnering with Austin’s Capital Factory, a tech incubator, Alliance Abroad has launched an entrepreneurship program focused on internships in Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Block Chain, Cyber Security and E-Commerce. The Capital Factory serves various entrepreneurs and startup companies in Austin have the most success in their businesses!
Young people going into Information Technology fields must no longer choose between furthering their technical education and gaining practical, international work experience. They will develop on this program both relevant technical skills and important cross-cultural communication skills. Thanks to our partnership with Capital Factory, they will also develop important contacts within American tech firms, Venture Capital and Angel Investment that will change the trajectory of their professional and economic futures. This is just another Alliance Abroad works to offer opportunities for a wider variety of individuals.