Clinton celebrates 20th Anniversary of Fulbright Program in Vietnam

Exchange and study abroad opportunities provide young Vietnamese and their country with a bright future, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently noted in Hanoi, Vietnam, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Vietnam’s Fulbright Program.

Stressing the role exchange programs play for U.S. foreign policy and mutual understanding with other cultures, Clinton said that what is of critical importance are people-to-people relationships, “the daily contacts between our people,” “those bonds that really do bring us closer together.”

Talking about the impact of exchanges in general and the Vietnam’s Fulbright Program in particular, Clinton said:

“Over the past two decades, the Fulbright program has helped to deepen the ties between our nations and it has … literally transformed the lives of over 8,000 American and Vietnamese students, scholars, educators, and business people. And it has, indeed, already produced some remarkable leaders, and I know it will continue to produce remarkable leaders.”

“Today, there are more than 15,000 Vietnamese students in the United States, and I believe this generation of students and scholars is well positioned to make great contributions to Vietnam’s future. And it won’t be just because of their education and their skill, it will be because of the relationship and perspective that they forge and bring home with them. And they then will be really at the foundation of creating new opportunities, new ways of thinking, innovation, entrepreneurship that will help so many other Vietnamese realize their own dreams.”

According to Clinton, the United States is intending to increase the number of educational exchanges with Vietnam over the coming years.