Hundreds of thousands of international students enter the United States each year to experience American culture while completing their studies. Many of these students train as "Global Guides" to share their culture and experiences with American students as young as five years old. As part of One To World's Global Classroom program, these global guides enter the classrooms of elementary, middle and high school students across New York and New Jersey to share a bit about their home country. It's a connection that yields mutual benefits.

"A core belief at One To World is that peace and understanding start by bringing people of diverse perspectives together in a face-to-face environment to share ideas and culture," says One To World Executive Director Jen Clarke.

To that end, each year One To World typically trains anywhere from 35 to 75 international students, including many Fulbright scholars, to teach young students about the country and culture from which they come. In turn, 500 to 600 students in grades K-12 are exposed to a culture and ethnicity often very different from their own.

Martina Novakova recently served as a Bulgarian Global Guide and enjoyed connecting with American students and teaching them how to write the Cyrillic alphabet.

"Students are the future of every culture, so I was happy to discover classrooms full of energetic, participative, curious, critical-thinking, multicultural kids," Novakova said of her experience. "I was very pleasantly surprised to see they knew so much."

Clarke is always gratified to see students gaining appreciation for their own culture through the Global Classroom experience.

"Many of the children, especially those who are first generation, may be a bit embarrassed by their home culture," Clarke notes. "The Global Classroom program provides a safe space to talk about their heritage and to understand that they should be proud of their background and their culture."

The Nissan Foundation has been proud to support One To World since 2015. The Nissan Foundation grant to One To World helps ensure that the cost of the Global Classroom program is not prohibitive to the schools interested in being a part of it. The Nissan Foundation grant also helps support One To World's programming that exposes visiting international students to unique aspects of American life, and in turn brings the world into American communities.

"Our enrichment program gets international students off campus and into the community giving them a much richer experience of the United States," Clarke explains. "We help curate their experience, which is really important because these students go home and are able to speak of their experience in a much richer way."

Established in 1992, the mission of the Nissan Foundation is to build community through valuing cultural diversity. Over the last 30 years, the Nissan Foundation has awarded more than $13 million nonprofit organizations that support the Foundation's mission. The Nissan Foundation is part of Nissan Americas' commitment to enriching people's lives by helping to meet the needs of communities throughout the U.S. through philanthropic investments, corporate outreach sponsorships and other charitable contributions. More information about the Nissan Foundation can be found online at

Issued by Nissan


We use cookies to provide you with an innovative and exciting website. Please allow the use of cookies by clicking the "Accept" button or simply continue browsing.

For more information please view our Cookies Information.