Exchanges in the media

The number of international students enrolled at U.S. universities has increased by 5.7 per cent, according to the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) Open Doors 2012 report, released today at a briefing that kicked off this year's International Education Week. Open Doors 2012 also reveals that international students contributed more than $22.7 billion to the U.S. economy in 2011-12, according to U.S. Department of Commerce data.

The Open Doors report is released annually by IIE with the support of the Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). 

International students differ and so do their information-seeking behavior and school choices; U.S. higher education institutions therefore must reach out to and communicate with prospective international students in different ways, a new report by World Education Services (WES) found.

Study abroad and cultural experience boost creativity, according to a new study by scholars at the University of Florida, Gainesville, that was recently published in Applied Cognitive Psychology.

Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara Sonenshine expressed her wish to see more American students studying and interning in India, in a recent interview with Forbes India. The Department of State is planning to increase the number of U.S. students in India (currently 3,300) to 15,000 in five years through its Passport to India initiative.

Talking about how to achieve this ambitious goal, Sonenshine said:

The U.S. needs to ensure that a larger number of American students gain skills enabling them to compete in the global marketplace, Maureen McLaughlin, Director of International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Education, explained in a recent interview with the Chronicle of Higher Education.

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A recent The Hill article focusing on international students pursuing an American education featured the exchange experience of several prominent politicians, including Argentina’s Ambassador to the United States Jorge Argüello and Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to the United States Elin Suleymanov.

As the popular European Erasmus program celebrates its 25th anniversary, it “is being hailed as one of the success stories of European integration,” and in the words of Italian writer Umberto Eco “has created the first generation of young Europeans,” the New York Times recently wrote.

Shortly before presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s trip to the UK, Israel, and Poland, a recent Washington Post article unveils the international experiences and influences in Romney’s life, especially his missionary work in France and his experience as member of an AFS host family:

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The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report yesterday critical of the Student Exchange and Visitor Program (SEVP), saying that the program lacks processes to identify risk and prevent fraud, and does not have proper controls to verify the legitimacy of schools that accept international students. SEVP is responsible for certifying schools to accept international students in academic and vocational programs, as well as managing the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), which assists the Department of Homeland Security in tracking and monitoring certified schools and international students.

Despite his pessimism about the state of U.S. development, political discourse, and public governance, Elliot Gerson, an executive vice president at the Aspen Institute, has at least one reason to feel hope: the ever-increasing number of young Americans who are studying, traveling, and living abroad. Writing in The Atlantic, Gerson argues that all Americans—but especially young Americans—must continue to go outside our borders and “benchmark” against the rest of the world—that is, not only learn about other countries and peoples, but also learn from them in order to make the U.S. stronger:

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