Our goal is to unite millions of study abroad alumni worldwide into a powerful force to champion study abroad opportunities and to create a more peaceful world through greater international awareness and understanding.
John F. Kennedy said: “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.”
I’m trying to make a difference by staying in Brussels after my contract as a NATO speechwriter came to an end. One of the projects I described in my application to Belgian authorities for a permis de residence and a carte professionnelle (I was recently granted both) is to establish the international city of Brussels as the global headquarters for an educational organization called Study Abroad Alumni International (SAAI).
Ever since my junior year abroad at the University of Lund, Sweden, I have been a study abroad enthusiast. Indeed, millions of my fellow study abroad alumni around the world look back on their foreign study sojourn as an eye-opening, mind-expanding and life-changing experience.
Although they share this common bond, they are not yet organized into a cohesive, unified force to champion study abroad opportunities and to build greater international awareness and cross-cultural understanding.
And that’s where SAAI comes in. For more details about SAAI and the specific initiatives we plan to pursue, visit Study Abroad Alumni International (SAAI).
Like any fledgling nonprofit/NGO, the immediate priority for SAAI is to raise startup funding. Hence this initial crowdfunding appeal.
This seed money will allow me to dedicate more time and creative energy while I'm in Brussels to launching and leading SAAI and to obtain the legal, accounting, fundraising and other vital services needed to establish SAAI as a thriving nonprofit/NGO in Brussels.
If you like this idea and want to help out – whether or not you studied abroad – I hope you’ll chip in with a donation of $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000 (or more?). No amount is too small … or too large!
Should you want to contribute more than money -- by volunteering to help with fundraising, playing a leadership role in forming the organization, recruiting new members, or establishing various country chapters -- please send me an email and let me know of your interest (Matthew.Cossolotto@gmail.com).
One project I'd like SAAI to tackle as soon as possible is to publish a global directory of prominent study abroad alumni in many different professions. Such a directory does not exist and I believe it would be very useful in promoting the value of the study abroad experience.
Please feel free to spread the word about SAAI to any individuals or foundations you think might be able to contribute to SAAI's mission.
I can't do this without your help. Working together in this exciting endeavor, we can all make a difference.
Many thanks for your generous support.
Founder and President
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