Sec. Clinton promotes exchange programs in trip around the world

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently returned from an around-the-world trip that included stops in Turkey, Greece, India, Indonesia, and Hong Kong. In many of these locations, the Secretary continued her consistent promotion of international exchange programs, including the announcement of the new Passport to India initiative, “a program designed to bring more American students to…India to match the great numbers of Indian students that come to the United States.” Highlights of the Secretary’s remarks about exchanges and other Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs activities are below.

Istanbul, Turkey, July 16

CNNTurkey aired a program featuring Secretary Clinton fielding questions on a range of political, economic, and technology questions from a group of 70 young Turkish students and leaders. Saying she would do all she could to support “people-to-people relations,” the Secretary praised the Young Turkey/Young America Program, an initiative she announced in Ankara in the spring.

Secretary Clinton also met with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and noted efforts to increase ties between the Turkish and American people, including between the next generation of business leaders:

“There’s also a chance to foster even closer ties between our people, our businesses, and our communities. For example, in the run-up to the summit, the public-private initiative called Partners for a New Beginning is working with the Coca-Cola Company, the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, and other partners to offer Turkish women entrepreneurs new seed grants, training, and mentoring.

“Through our Global Entrepreneurship Program and other initiatives, we are working with Turkish high schools and universities to link the next generation of Turkish business leaders with young counterparts in the United States.”

Athens, Greece, July 17

Secretary Clinton and Greek Foreign Minister Stavros Lambrinidis signed an MOU strengthening the two countries collaboration to reduce looting and trafficking of antiquities. Signed at the Acropolis Museum with the Parthenon temple as a backdrop, the agreement provides for the return to Greece of archaeological and ecclesiastical ethnological material not properly documented. 

Chennai, India, July 20

During her remarks at Anna Centenary Library in Chennai, Secretary Clinton announced the new Passport to India initiative, calling it her “personal favorite” of several new programs linking Indian and American students, businesses, and communities. The State Department’s DipNote blog describes the program in full:

“Passport to India will promote internships for American high school and college students in India. Funded entirely by private companies, the effort encourages businesses to partner with U.S. schools, colleges, foundations or international organizations to commit to sponsoring American students to intern in their India-based offices and factories. Internships can be in any field, including management, graphic design, manufacturing, high technology and pharmaceutical research. They can also incorporate service learning experiences, including interning at a non-governmental organization that supports women’s education or improving child health.…Internships are a great way for students to apply the knowledge they gain from school into real world environments.”

The Secretary also highlighted the upcoming U.S.-India Higher Education Summit to take place October 13 in Washington.

Bali, Indonesia, July 20  

The Secretary convened with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi during their trip to Bali for an ASEAN entrepreneurship summit. During their joint remarks, Foreign Minister Yang noted that he agreed with Secretary Clinton’s remarks that their strategic and economic dialogue had been very successful and that dialogue had included a discussion of increasing “people-to-people cultural exchanges” between the U.S. and China.

Bali, Indonesia, July 24

Secretary Clinton met with Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa and discussed the positive results of a U.S.-Indonesia education working group:

“We discussed our shared goal of expanding educational exchanges. And I was so pleased to hear the report from the two chairs of the education working group. We are well on the way to doubling the number of Indonesians who study in the United States, and increasing the number of American students who come to study in Indonesia. We have expanded study abroad initiatives, such as our Fulbright Program, and we are eager to continue to build on that, as we will at a higher education summit to be held in Washington on October 31st.”