Department of State news

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ (ECA) institutionalization of program evaluation has become a role model for the Department of State and U.S. public diplomacy, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara Sonenshine told an audience at the Heritage Foundation yesterday.

International students and their families contributed more than $21.81 billion to the U.S. economy last year, according to an economic impact statement for the academic year 2011-12, released by NAFSA: Association of International Educators today.

The number of international students enrolled at U.S. universities has increased by 5.7 per cent, according to the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) Open Doors 2012 report, released today at a briefing that kicked off this year's International Education Week. Open Doors 2012 also reveals that international students contributed more than $22.7 billion to the U.S. economy in 2011-12, according to U.S. Department of Commerce data.

The Open Doors report is released annually by IIE with the support of the Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). 

Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Ann Stock will kick off the 13th International Education Week (IEW) by releasing the 2012 Open Doors report on Tuesday, November 13. Open Doors, a collaboration between the Institute of International Education (IIE) and the Department of State, is an annual publication that provides authoritative data on foreign students in the U.S.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton prominently featured the role of exchanges in her remarks to staff at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing during her travels to China earlier this month.

Acknowledging that the relationship between China and the U.S. is “a complicated relationship,” Clinton affirmed the administration’s strong belief in U.S.-China relations and the crucial role people-to-people exchanges play in fostering and maintaining strong ties between the two countries:

In today’s globalized world the U.S. “cannot afford not to be connected” and exchanges are not only “one of the best ways” to become and remain connected, but “more than earn their investment,” Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara Sonenshine noted at Drake University earlier this week.

The Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) on Wednesday launched its TechWomen2012 initiative, which will bring 42 women from eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa to the U.S. for a period of five weeks. While in the U.S., the women—who all work in the technology sectors in their home countries that include Algeria, Jordan, and Yemen—will be engaged in a mentoring program with their U.S. counterparts.

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.

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:

People-to-people relationships between the citizens of the U.S. and India, forged in part through educational and cultural exchanges, lie at the heart of the U.S.-India partnership, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara Sonenshine and Indian Ambassador to the United States Nirupama Rao agreed in a recent web chat moderated by Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Ambassador Robert Blake.

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