Department of State news

With a civil war raging in their home country that has already killed thousands of civilians, 31 Yemeni high school exchange students are “trapped by uncertainty” as their U.S.

On several occasions during the sixth U.S.-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) in Washington this week, the U.S. and Chinese governments underlined the importance of, and their continued commitment to, people-to-people exchanges between their two countries.

Secretary of State John Kerry, during the joint opening session on Tuesday, stressed the benefits of “fully reciprocal and unfettered” contacts between the citizens of the U.S. and China:

In a blog post on her Route J-1 blog, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Robin Lerner remembers and pays tribute to the Irish J-1 students who tragically lost their lives, and those who were injured, in a balcony collapse in Berkeley, CA, earlier this week.

In Lerner’s words:

“Appropriate words are hard to conjure at these times; we can only share in the sadness and loss.”

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EducationUSA has launched a new website to reach and inform a broader audience of prospective international students about opportunities to study in the U.S., The Pie News reports.

At the Summit of the Americas last week, Secretary of State John Kerry stressed the importance of educational exchanges in economic development:

“… [E]ducation more so than ever before, is the ladder of opportunity for people all across the planet… It is why President Obama launched 100,000 Strong in the Americas.”

The U.S. Department of State announced that it will launch a study abroad branch to increase diversity among study abroad participants, build partnerships with foreign governments, and promote opportunities in non-traditional destinations, The Pie News reports.

Evan Ryan, the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, noted the State Department’s desire to increase diversity in study abroad participation and efforts in building partnerships:

A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the Summer Work Travel (SWT) program, released this afternoon, commends the Department of State on its strengthened oversight of SWT, while acknowledging the public diplomacy value of this exchange program that brings up-and-coming leaders to the U.S. for summer cultural experiences.

Earlier today, Secretary of State John Kerry delivered opening remarks to the inaugural Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women/U.S. State Department entrepreneurship program.  Through this initiative, 29 women from 15 Middle Eastern countries will take part in a 2-week seminar focused on entrepreneurial skills training. 

Funding cuts to the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX), a bilateral exchange program supported jointly by the U.S. and Germany, are facing bipartisan criticism from members of Congress, as well as from the German government. In addition to opposition from CBYX program alumni, the cuts have “spawned an unusual coalition in Washington that is working hard to reverse the partial defunding of the program,” Deutsche Welle reports.

Secretary of State John Kerry, throughout the past two days, testified before several congressional committees with regard to the President’s FY16 State Department budget request.

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