Meet US Program: want an American native speaker in your classroom?
Americans in Dialogue with Young Belgians about Life in the U.S.A
- What is the American Dream?
- What do Americans think about Belgium?
- How does the American election system work?
- When does an American school day start, and when does it end?
- How many of the 50 states in the U.S. have you visited?
- What languages do Americans learn at school?
- Do you drive to school or work?
- Who is your favorite actor, singer, group?
- Americans only eat fast food and everybody is overweight.
- Americans are very superficial.
These are some typical questions and preconceptions that young Belgians have about the United States. This program is designed to help clarify the picture by bringing Americans - U.S. citizens from all backgrounds of life resident or visiting Belgium, as well as U.S. Embassy staff - together with secondary school students in Belgium to engage them in dialogue about everyday life in the United States. The speakers meet with the students at their schools to talk about anything that helps give the students an impression on "how the Americans think". The intention is not to focus primarily on current policy issues, but rather to offer a dialogue on social, historical or cultural aspects of the United States and the interests and aspirations of Americans.
The visits are not structured as formal lectures, but rather an open and direct dialogue between the guest speakers and the students. The speakers usually present a short overview of a particular subject relating to American society and culture or talk more generally about their lives (their jobs or job goals, the schools and universities they attended, their hometowns) and then open the floor to discussion and questions. In some cases, they may even have some questions of their own! The discussions may be conducted in either English or Dutch/French. The visits can take place Mon-Fri during the regular Belgian school hours.
The U.S. Embassy Brussels coordinates the program, receives the requests from the schools, recruits the speakers and coordinates all administrative and logistical details. We also have a whole range of support material available which the speakers may use in preparation for their visit, or as hand-outs to the students.
How to Request a School Visit
Speaker requests from interested schools should include
- desired date (requests should be made well in advance; please give alternate dates)
- Name, address and information about the school as well as the type of school, special profiles, etc
- the grade of the class
- number of participating students
- suggested or likely discussion topics
- the name and telephone number/email of a contact person at the school
The Embassy will make travel arrangements for the speaker. There is no charge to the requesting school or institution.
Requests and inquiries should be directed to the following address: