Washington, D.C. – Exchange Day is an annual celebration of international educational and cultural exchange programs. Today, event participants are raising awareness about the power of exchange, while connecting participants and alumni with their local communities.
Around the United States, 35 organizations are hosting more Exchange Day events than ever before – 60 events in 26 states and the District of Columbia. For the first time, organizations are also hosting events in three other countries, specifically Hungary, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
“Exchange Day encourages and inspires our alumni and participants to take action and practice the lessons of cultural appreciation and understanding,” said Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce. “These actions strengthen their own communities and share what they have learned through Exchange Programs.”
Under the motto “Eat, Play, Give,” sponsor organizations provide international exchange participants an opportunity to enjoy American cuisine, share cultural diversity, and take part in volunteering in their host communities. This year, events include a park clean up in New York City, New York; volunteering at a food bank in San Antonio, Texas; and a charity toy drive in San Francisco, California.
“The growing success of Exchange Day reinforces that program sponsors and supporters are actively pursuing ways to increase mutual understanding between peoples, which is the principal goal of exchange programs,” said Ilir Zherka, Executive Director of the Alliance for International Exchange.
Exchange Day is a grassroots level initiative by local organizations, companies, and individuals celebrating the power of international exchange.
The Alliance for International Exchange promotes the growth and impact of exchange programs. Since 1993, it serves as the collective public policy voice for now over 90 nongovernmental organizations comprising the international educational and cultural exchange community in the United States.