Public Diplomacy

Several veteran members of Congress are urging their colleagues to travel abroad more, according to Roll Call. Frequent Congressional travelers make the case that international travel is vital for Members to do their jobs effectively, and that there is great value in legislators better understanding the international context in which they govern. As Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) explains:

The U.S. government has clarified its regulations for American citizens traveling to Cuba, allowing for a more complete understanding of the effect of the new policy on international exchange opportunities. The U.S. Department of the Treasury and U.S. Department of Commerce published updated regulations on travel to Cuba, effective January 16, 2015, NAFSA reports.

In his 2015 State of the Union address on Tuesday, President Obama spoke at length about the role of diplomacy in U.S. foreign policy. He emphasized the role of international diplomacy in addressing global challenges and enhancing U.S. leadership abroad:

“I believe in a smarter kind of American leadership. We lead best when we combine military power with strong diplomacy; when we leverage our power with coalition building...That’s exactly what we’re doing right now — and around the globe, it is making a difference.”

Recent changes in U.S. foreign policy toward Cuba ease travel restrictions for American students and faculty, and open the door for nonacademic exchange programs and travel to Cuba, Inside Higher Ed reports. President Obama announced his administration’s new Cuba policy in December 2014, re-establishing diplomatic relations with the nation.

The U.S. and Mexico reaffirmed their mutual commitment to increasing exchange opportunities for American and Mexican students this week.  Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s visit to Washington, DC marked a continuation in recent Mexico-U.S. collaboration efforts on education.

Potential funding cuts to exchange programs are threatening transatlantic relations, according to a recent The Hill blog post by Chris Kojm and Christina Tsafoulias, both former Robert Bosch Foundation Fellows to Germany.

Studying abroad is a vital experience for young Americans, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Richard Stengel recently wrote in a blog post, published by the State Department and the Huffington Post.

The number of international students studying in the U.S. is at a record high, as is the number of American students studying overseas, according to the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) 2014 Open Doors report, released this morning on the occasion of the 15th annual celebration of International Education Week. The economic contribution of international students in the U.S.

During his recent visit to China, President Obama – along with Chinese President Xi Jinping – emphasized the positive impact exchanges have on U.S.-China relations. Both expressed a commitment to deepening people to people ties between the two nations, particularly via student exchanges and tourism, according to a White House press release.

As of November 12, the U.S. and China have both increased the respective lengths of short-term business and tourist visas, as well as student and exchange visas, according to the U.S. Department of State. The U.S.

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