Press Releases

Press releases by the Alliance. For media Inquiries, contact Laine Cavanaugh at

Administration’s FY 2019 ECA Budget Would Hurt U.S. Diplomacy

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget released today by the Administration proposes a steep 75 percent cut to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). Specifically, the FY19 request of $159 million is a significant reduction from ECA’s actual budget of $634.1 million in FY17. Last year, the Administration recommended a 55 percent cut to ECA. Although a long-term FY18 budget has not been finalized, Congress recognized the importance of ECA and increased its funding for FY17.

White House Interagency Group Seeking to Eliminate J1 Visitor Exchange Visa Program

At a time when the world’s favorability rating of the United States hovers below 50 percent, a small working group based in the White House is seeking to eliminate the majority of privately-funded J1 Exchange Visitor Programs. As reported today in the Wall Street Journal, American businesses fear the economic blow they will experience as a result of this effort. 

Does the Summer Work Travel International Exchange Program Work?

ROCKVILLE, MD., August 28, 2017 – The Alliance for International Exchange, an association of cultural exchange agencies, asked EurekaFacts to find just that. The Summer Work Travel program—one of five programs included in the J1 Visitor Exchange Program—brings more than 100,000 college students from 100 countries to the United States during their summer break. These students typically work at amusement parks, ski destinations and hospitality small businesses during their peak seasons.

Alliance Statement: Administration’s Cuba Travel Policy Hinders Public Diplomacy

Statement by Ilir Zherka, Executive Director of the Alliance for Internatioanl Exchange:

President Trump’s new policies towards Cuba includes a detrimental restriction for Americans traveling to the island for educational purposes. The administration’s argument for cancelling this travel category is the erroneous assumption that people-to-people exchanges do not help the Cuban people and instead only benefits the Cuban government.

Administration’s 2018 Budget Jeopardizes our Nation’s Public Diplomacy Efforts

For Immediate Release
Contact: 202-293-6141

Fate of Educational and Cultural Exchange Programs Rests with Congress

Washington, DC (May 23, 2017) – The budget released today by President Donald Trump proposes an unprecedented cut of 32 percent to the International Affairs budget, and a 55 percent cut to the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) specifically. ECA funds and oversees a wide range of critical international exchange programs which enable people-to-people diplomacy.