Imagine this: Mere minutes after a lengthy bilateral meeting with European counterparts, you step on to the stage and take your place behind a microphone. You have been asked, alongside a “top official” from the United States, to represent Germany at a press conference on the latest developments in the Eurozone. Palms sweating, you take the first question, hoping that they will be easy on you. A journalist turns on his microphone and starts out with a tough one, “Germany has been imposing austerity measures across the Eurozone, but are you considering the effects these drastic measures might have on working class Europeans?”
For 68 European and American high school students representing 42 different countries, this scenario became reality, if only for a few hours, in a simulation conducted at the State Department as part of the Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows… more »
About the Author: Ann Stock is the Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) had a busy and exciting 2011, marked by a bevy of accomplishments, quick responses to foreign policy challenges, and a swath of new people-to-people exchange programs that help advance American standing and interests around the world.
Many of our most exciting programs responded to the needs and opportunities generated by changes in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia. Throughout these regions, ECA bolstered English teaching and the Fulbright Program. We also added new International Visitor Leadership Programs to give rising leaders in countries like Tunisia and Libya a look at American entrepreneurship and democratic, transparent governance.
Our cultural and historical preservation work also helped raise the U.S. profile abroad. For instance we restored the historical citadel of Herat, our… more »
More than 8,000 educators, advisors, scholars, and counselors attended theAssociation of International Educators’ 63rd annual NAFSA conference from May 31 to June 3. The conference offered dozens of workshops and seminars on international education, providing an unparalleled forum for hammering out agreements between educational institutions, spotting new trends in international education, and plain, old-fashioned networking.
There is burgeoning understanding that educational advising and international academic exchanges are increasingly recognized as important tools for building long-term relationships between citizens of the United States and other countries. Caryn Danz, Branch Chief for Educational Advising in the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural… more »
“U.S.A. Weekend” Brings the United States to Bolivia
About the Author: E.J. Monster serves as the Cultural Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Bolivia.
If you were Bolivian and wanted to learn about U.S. exchange programs, where would you go? To the mall!
The U.S. Embassy partnered with the Bolivian-American Center to hold an exciting “USA Weekend” at a popular shopping mall and cinema in Cochabamba, Bolivia, May 13-15. Nearly 10,000 Bolivians attended the three-day event, experiencing American culture and learning about the educational and cultural exchange programs we offer.
To bring the United States to Cochabamba, we organized nightly concerts featuring performances by Bolivian artists of American hip-hop, jazz, and pop music and dance. Crowds cheered, sang, and danced to impressive tributes to American musical favorites. Enthusiastic teenagers formed long lines for photographs with our Statue of Liberty and Uncle Sam mimes, as well as the life-size cutout of President Barack Obama. … more »
“I am heartened that your good experiences in our country — whether decades ago or only last year — bring you together as a community, as a group motivated to do good in Pakistan. We admire you and your work,” said Ambassador Richard Hoagland, Deputy Chief of the United States Mission to Pakistan.
The Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network, established in 2010, has chapters in every province in Pakistan, including AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan. Inspired by their experiences in the United States, the alumni help make their communities… more »
Forty years ago this week, a small U.S. delegation visited China to help ease tensions between Washington and Beijing through rather unorthodox means. On April 10, 1971, nine American table tennis players, four officials, two spouses, and 10 journalists crossed a bridge from Hong Kong into mainland China to usher in the age of “Ping Pong Diplomacy.” Eight days of cultural exchange contributed to a thaw in bilateral relations. In February 1972, President Richard Nixon traveled to the People’s Republic of China. At a welcome banquet in Beijing, Premier Zhou Enlai praised the U.S. table tennis team for opening “a new chapter in the relations of the American and Chinese people.”
New chapters in this relationship are being written every day. During the second annual U.S.-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE), Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and… more »
About the Author: Alberto Rodriguez serves as Spokesperson at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Over 35 students and their parents gathered April 17, 2011, at the National Library to kick off their pre-departure orientation for the U.S. government funded 2010-11 Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program. This is the ninth group of YES students from Pakistan to go to the United States. This orientation program, which is organized by the iEARN Society for International Education, plays a key role in preparing students with the required skills, attitude, and knowledge to spend a successful year in the United States.
“I am excited to see these outstanding students go to the United States,” said Cultural Attache Brent Beemer. “They will be studying in U.S. schools, living with American families, and becoming part… more »
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton shakes hands with Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong at the closing session of the U.S.-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange, at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on April 12, 2011. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong pose for a photo with students during the U.S.-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange, at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on April 12, 2011. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton co-chairs the closing session of the U.S.-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) with Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong, at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on April 12, 2011. [Go to http://www.state.gov/video for more video and text transcript.]