Visionary leader, Robert Tesdell, formed the Association for World Travel Exchange, Inc. (AWTE), a New York City-based nonprofit, and purchased a brownstone on West 88th Street, which remains the home to our mission and programs to this day.
AWTE launched with three core programs: the International Counselor Exchange Program (ICEP), Hospitality Tours, and the International Student Center (youth hostel). Tesdell served as the Executive Director for nearly fifty years.
Inspired to help nurture the philosophy and ideals of AWTE, Suresh Paul joined the organization as the Associate Director of ICEP and the International Student Center.
Suresh Paul succeeds Robert Tesdell as Executive Director of AWTE. Under Suresh Paul’s leadership, the International Student Center continued to thrive as a welcoming and inclusive environment for all.
With a steadfast determination to strengthen existing programs while remaining true to the commitment to build peace and understanding, Suresh Paul launched a new initiative, Arts for PEACE (Peace Education through the Arts, Culture and Exposure).
Like many organizations, in March 2020, the pandemic forced AWTE to pause operations.
Aligned in mission, purpose, and an unwavering commitment to global learning, AWTE merges with Cultural Connections Global Education, Inc. AWTE’s new co-executive directors, Rayda Marquez and Erin Friedman bring a vision for AWTE which elevates deepened local ties, leans on a rich network of global partners, and promotes a broadened slate of programs.
In Spring 2022, AWTE reopens with the same mission under one brand: Cultural Connections Global Learning.