Public Diplomacy

A Canadian government panel recommended in August that the country double its number of international students by 2022, the New York Times reports.

Currently, 100,000 international students are studying in Canada, triple the number who studied there in 2000.

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A recent study from the U.S. Travel Association shows that a high percentage of international travelers who have previously visited the U.S. would discourage others from visiting because of the barriers to entry, CQ reported. The Travel Association study notes that forty three per cent of the 1,200 survey respondents said they would tell an average of eight people to avoid visiting the U.S.

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Speaking more than one language offers a broad array of benefits and advantages, according to Italian professor Antonella Sorace from the University of Edinburgh.

Engagement with the Middle East and North Africa, and other Muslim-majority countries, is “a top priority” for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), Deputy Assistant Secretary for Academic Programs Meghan Curtis said last week at the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) conference in New Orleans.

Delivering his first official speech as Secretary of State, at the University of Virginia on Wednesday, John Kerry set the tone for his tenure in Foggy Bottom, drawing a simple and direct connection between U.S. foreign policy and domestic affairs:

“More than ever before, the decisions that we make from the safety of our shores don’t just ripple outward; they also create a current right here in America. How we conduct our foreign policy matters more than ever before to our everyday lives.”

In a recent blog post, Admiral James Stavridis, commander of the U.S. European Command, stresses the importance of linguistics, skills of regional expertise, and cultural understanding in U.S. military operations. He states:

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International exchanges are essential in “bridging the intersection between policy and public diplomacy” and help “empower future generations of political leaders,” Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara Sonenshine told an audience at George Washington University’s Elliot School of Foreign Affairs last Thursday.

With its leadership changing and the views of its eight Republican members ranging “all over the map,” the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) of the 113th Congress is likely to showcase “a lack of cohesion,” as well as strong, vigorous debates, CQ.com reports. This new dynamic could “reinvigorate a panel that has grown increasingly marginalized on Capitol Hill in recent years,” though it also runs the risk of “creating more dysfunction, with committee infighting bogging down the legislative agenda.”

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By a vote of 94 to 3, the Senate overwhelming approved Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) yesterday afternoon as the United States’ next Secretary of State, The Washington Post reports. Kerry abstained from voting but watched the proceedings from the front of the Senate chamber. Three Republicans voted against Kerry: Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn of Texas, and Sen.

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A young U.S. diplomat is hoping to build bridges between the U.S. and Pakistan and promote education for girls through singing songs in the local language, Pashto, AFP Islamabad recently reported.

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