Six international students who spent their summers at Morey's Piers in New Jersey through the Department of State's Summer Work Travel program recently met with a seventh grade class to talk about their home countries and share their experiences in the U.S. with the American students, the Cape May County Herald reported.
Speaking at a meeting of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy yesterday, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Adam Ereli highlighted the impact ECA programs have on American citizens, as well as the Bureau’s ongoing work to ensure its programs are strategic and its appropriated funds well spent. The question of how exchange programs serve American interests at home and abroad, he said, is always at the forefront of ECA’s mind.
The Newark Star-Ledger published on Friday a letter to the editor by Michael McCarry in which he asserts that the Exchange Visitor Program—and in particular the Summer Work Travel program—provides opportunities that have “positively changed lives and helped improve America’s standing in the world for 50 years.”
The full text of McCarry's letter is available on the Star-Ledger website, and below.
The College Board released the following announcement regarding a 2011 EducationUSA Reconnect China higher education delegation:
The College Board is pleased to announce a new opportunity for accredited U.S. institutions and higher education associations to participate in a 10-12 day delegation to the People’s Republic of China. Sponsored and fully funded for up to 12 participants by the U.S. Department of State, the trip will include visits to national secondary schools and universities in collaboration with EducationUSA.
The Alliance issued the following statement in response to Sen. Mark Udall's (D-CO) recent letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, requesting a review of the Department of State's Exchange Visitor Program:
In a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton posted on his website yesterday, Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) noted that he is “concerned that the [Exchange Visitor] program lacks sufficient oversight of program sponsors and enforcement of the protections against abuse.” Udall asked Clinton to “provide an outline of the steps that the [State] Department has taken to ensure proper oversight and enforcement to protect against possible misuse of the visa program as it pertains to the protection of U.S. workers.”
Udall also wrote that his intention with this request is to work with the State Department “to maintain the true intent of the Exchange Visitor Program as an educational and cultural exchange that can serve as an important diplomatic tool while also protecting the interests of American workers.”
Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, argued in an op-ed in yesterday’s Washington Post that even during this time of budget crisis, it is essential for the U.S. to engage with the world. “This is not time for America to pull back from the world. This is a time to step forward,” Kerry wrote.
Grammy Awards-winning musician and producer of the Black Eyed Peas will.i.am will direct a concert in Beijing later this year to celebrate U.S.-China educational and cultural exchanges and to benefit President Obama’s 100,000 Strong Initiative, according to the Department of State’s website.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee introduced last week the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2012-13, which authorizes $637.1 million for Department of State educational and cultural exchange programs in FY 2012, equal to the President’s request. The bill also includes an amendment to the Fulbright-Hays Act, requiring performance-based measurement reporting for high school exchange programs.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently returned from an around-the-world trip that included stops in Turkey, Greece, India, Indonesia, and Hong Kong.