Passport to India initiative seeks to send 15,000 Americans to study and intern in India

Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara Sonenshine expressed her wish to see more American students studying and interning in India, in a recent interview with Forbes India. The Department of State is planning to increase the number of U.S. students in India (currently 3,300) to 15,000 in five years through its Passport to India initiative.

Talking about how to achieve this ambitious goal, Sonenshine said:

“That has got to be done by promoting study abroad, internships, talking about service learning, and engaging the private sector to sponsor American students who might want to intern in an India-based facility. So we are going to use our public-private convening power. And we are working with companies to create these service learning opportunities.”

Asked about areas of U.S.-India people-to-people relations the Department of State is particularly interested in, Sonenshine explained:

“We would encourage science-to-science diplomacy. Health-to-health professionals. … At the end of the day, that exchange of knowledge, expertise and humanity will enable both people to rise.”