International Exchanges: Empowering Environmental Leaders
About the Author: Ann Stock serves as Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Today, in the Gambia, alumni of Department of State-sponsored exchange programs will form environmental clubs with 100 under-served youth to create and maintain a seed bank, and plant tree nurseries.
Today in Bangalore, India, Parvati Gubbi, a secondary teacher of science and alumna of the Distinguished Fulbright Awards in Teaching Program, will teach students to practice sustainable lifestyles and, “become champions of change for a cleaner and greener habitat for the future.”
Just days before President Barack Obama set off for his historic trip to Israel and the Palestinian Territories, 16 Jewish and Arab-Israeli teens traveled to the United States to engage their American counterparts and highlight the strong relationship between the U.S. and Israeli people. Using the sport of basketball, these young people have focused their efforts on peace-building and cooperation — two themes central to President Obama’s visit.
Engaging young people is a strategic priority for the United States. After all, today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders. And, sports are a vehicle in which we can engage young people from around the world on the court, in the classroom, and in their communities.
During this international exchange, these young Israelis —… more »
From Algiers to Zimbabwe, we hear how people want to learn English. Children in orphanages in Mali, law enforcement professionals in Indonesia, and women entrepreneurs in Pakistan all share an interest in speaking English. Here at the State Department, we understand how English fluency lets people take charge of their futures: it builds leaders who can do their part to promote more prosperous, equitable, and stable societies.
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) is helping millions of people around the world create brighter futures by providing access and improving the quality of English learning. We support teachers and learners because English proficiency opens doors to new economic, cultural, and educational opportunities. With the help of Regional English Language… more »
Mr. Thiha Saw sits at a table in the Washington Post boardroom, listening attentively about the role of the newspaper as part of the free and independent press in the United States. As Editor in Chief of Burmese news outlet, Open News, this is another sign of Burma’s rapid transformation. Mr. Saw is one of four Burmese journalists and government officials on a Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) sponsored program designed to provide U.S. support towards fostering a vibrant media culture in Burma.
I met Mr. Saw and his colleagues last Monday, and he highlighted his longstanding connections with U.S. public diplomacy initiatives and people-to-people exchanges. As a journalist he had… more »
TechWomen Collaborate, Code, and Connect in Jordan
About the Author: Lee Satterfield serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Cultural and Professional Exchanges in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Last week in Jordan, 50 women from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories, Tunisia, Yemen and the United States came together to map out ways in which they could use the TechWomen network to encourage more women and girls to pursue professions in science, technology, engineering, and mathematic (STEM).
TechWomen is a program sponsored by the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs that pairs emerging women leaders in technology from the Middle East and North Africa with leading American women from the Silicon Valley area, using technology as a means to empower women and girls.… more »
American Athletes Promote Life Skills for Indian Youth
Media Note Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC February 12, 2013
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces Major League Baseball Hall-of-Famer Barry Larkin and Olympian Natasha Watley will travel as sports envoys to India from February 12-18. Working with Major League Baseball and USA Softball, this trip marks the Department’s first joint baseball and softball program to encourage youth participation in sports.
In New Delhi and Imphal, Larkin and Whatley will lead baseball and softball clinics for underserved youth and their coaches, as well as engage in dialogue on sports and diversity. In both cities, the sports envoys will meet with officials from the Indian Baseball and Softball Associations as well as representatives from NGOs that promote youth sports opportunities. Throughout the exchange, they will speak with local media about how sports encourage in the development of good sportsmanship, leadership, and teamwork skills. MORE
For centuries, great writers have opened windows into other worlds, and allowed countries — often for the very first time — a glimpse into a different culture and a different way of living. Through their work, writers connect cultures on a people-to-people level. The art of creative writing is fundamental to freedom of expression and a reason why the U.S. Department of State has sponsors exchange programs like the International Writing Program.
This past month, the State Department sent four of the best American writers and poets on our first International Writing Program delegation to Burma. The group included former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass, writers Brenda Hillman and ZZ Packer, and Christopher Merrill, director of the… more »
February 6 marks the 27th National Day of Women and Girls in Sports.
Today in Esteli, Nicaragua, girls from under-served areas are on the softball diamond, fielding grounders, running out base hits, and learning how sports can improve their health and their performance in the classroom.
In Donetsk, Ukraine, girls were on the basketball court, looking for the outlet pass, grabbing rebounds, and working as a team.
Have you participated in a State Department-sponsored exchange program? Stay connected. Do you teach English abroad? We have free resources to help. Do you want to engage in citizen diplomacy? One of these new websites holds the information you need to get you started.
After extensive research and planning, five of ECA’s websites have been given a sleek redesign in order to better serve our audiences. The launch includes five distinct new websites, each uniquely designed to provide people around the globe with the information they need to engage in citizen diplomacy and English teaching/learning activities. The redesigned sites allow Americans and foreign audiences to easily discover how they can be a part of the Department’s academic, cultural, sports, youth, professional, or private sector exchanges.
International Exchange Alumni, American English, Exchanges,… more »
The Future Leaders Exchange Program (FLEX) began 20 years ago as a way to introduce high-school students from Eurasia to American society and in turn, expose U.S. citizens to the culture, traditions, and lifestyles of the people of Eurasia. As a sign of its success, FLEX continues to impact a new generation. Olga Pak, participated in the very first cohort of students in the FLEX program in 1993-1994 and spent her exchange year in California. Aleksandr Kim, her son, is the first second-generation FLEX Program participant.
Aleksandr says his mother’s positive exchange experience inspired him to pursue a FLEX scholarship. “My mother was telling me stories about her exchange year since I was 11 years old. She encouraged me to come to the United… more »