Exchanges in the media

Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced a bill this week that would deny foreign travelers U.S. visas if their home countries have not made sufficient efforts to prevent fraudulent passport use, CQ.com reports:

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First Lady Michelle Obama arrives in China on Thursday for a visit that will focus on education and the importance of people-to-people exchanges, The New York Times reports.

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In his most recent column in the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof outlines the importance of study abroad programs and presses American universities to increase the number of students they send abroad:

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In 2002, leaders of European Union member states called for “at least two foreign languages to be taught from a very early age.” In 2005, the EU’s executive body, the European Commission, declared a long-term objective “to increase individual multilingualism until every citizen has practical skills in at least two languages in addition to his or her mother tongue.” Progress on this initiative – often referred to as the “mother tongue plus two” – has, however, been slow, the New York Times reports.

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A growing number of U.S. universities and colleges are offering “transitional programs” to international students, in order to bridge the cultural gap that international students can experience when making the move to study at American colleges, The New York Times reports.

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A Mexican initiative known as “Proyecta 100,000,” which aims to increase the number of Mexican students in the U.S. to 100,000 by 2018, has gained support from the White House and other North American leaders, The PIE News reports.

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The recent crisis in Ukraine has highlighted the dangers of decreasing funding for study of the area and its languages, a report from The New York Times says.

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The U.S. Department of State released yesterday a Fact Sheet outlining the need for increased cooperation with Ukraine, including enhanced people-to-people exchanges. The report followed a meeting between new Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and President Obama.

The fact sheet outlines a number of steps the U.S. will undertake to assist Ukraine including the $1 billion loan guarantee the government is working with Congress to provide.

France recently announced plans to make the country more attractive to international students. The PIE News reports on the initiative, which includes plans to extend post-study work rights and to simplify administration around visa processing.

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A rapidly growing number of students in India are taking the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), the entrance test used by most graduate school programs in the United States, the New York Times reports.

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