Policy Monitor Weekly Digest

► A student at Pellissippi State Community College who wants to encourage other students in community colleges to study abroad, attended the State of the Union address as a special guest of the Obama family.

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► The U.S.' new foreign policy toward Cuba will broaden exchange opportunities beyond academic exchanges for American students to also include nonacademic travel, conferences, and non-credit bearing study abroad, among others.

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► The U.S. and Mexico reaffirmed their mutual commitment to increasing exchange opportunities for American and Mexican students this week, co-signing a letter of intent to increase the number of exchange opportunities available to students from both countries.

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► After both Chambers of Congress passed the $1.1 trillion FY15 “cromnibus” spending bill late last week, President Obama on Tuesday night signed the bill into law. Under this law, State Department exchange programs will be funded at $589.9 million for the remainder of FY15.

► This week’s Exchange Voice:

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► Congress returned to session this week, with an agenda of finalizing FY15 appropriations. Four scenarios exist for you FY15 appropriations may be handled.

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► The Russian government is reassessing its funding for postgraduate studies at foreign universities and may limit funding “to nations and universities that are deemed friendly to Russia,” according to the Moscow Times.

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► The U.S. & China agreed to new, reciprocal visa policy this week, extending visa validity for businesspeople, tourists, & students

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► PIE News reported that American students studying abroad contribute €200 million annually to the Spanish economy.

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► An increasing number of online students are gaining international experience through study abroad and exchange programs, according to U.S. News & World Report.

► This week's Exchange Voice:

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