Urban and Regional Planning scholar chosen for prestigious honor
Thursday, August 7, 2014
Alyas Widita
Alyas Widita

Alyas Widita, a graduate student in the University of Iowa’s School of Urban and Regional Planning, is among five Fulbright foreign students selected by the U.S. Department of State to participate in the second Millennial Trains Project (MTP) voyage Aug. 7-17.

As an enrichment component of the Fulbright Foreign Student Exchange Program, the MTP is providing Widita and his fellow scholars with an in-depth understanding of life in the United States and opportunities to strengthen their skills in leadership, social entrepreneurship, and communication. The students are traveling by train from Portland, Oregon, to New York City, with stops in Whitefish, Montana; St. Paul-Minneapolis, Minnesota; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Chicago.

“Born and raised in Java Island, Indonesia, where the train is a popular mode of travel, I regularly used the train to go from one city to another,” says Widita. “The Millennial Trains Project will allow me to reminisce about my childhood as well as to experience a transformative journey with valuable learning experiences to be gained from my MTP journey colleagues, mentors on the train, and every individual and organization along the journey. The MTP’s journey will definitely enhance my already-amazing experience as a student in the U.S.”

On board the train, participants are taking part in leadership development training using curriculum developed by the education nonprofit City Year, and participating in workshops conducted by thought leaders across the United States. All five Fulbright students are posting personal blogs and social media during the trip.

To follow updates on the Fulbright scholars during their voyage, visit their blog, or search for #MTPTrain and #Fulbright on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

The Millennial Trains Project was founded in 2013 by Fulbright alumnus Patrick Dowd. While in India on his Fulbright exchange, Dowd participated in the Jagriti Yatra train voyage across India and was inspired by how it brought young people together to provide mentorship and entrepreneurial development.