Exchanges in the media

The Fulbright Program remains vital to the U.S.’ educational, scientific, economic, and political partnerships, according to Tara Sonenshine, former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. Sonenshine recently wrote a blog post in the Huffington Post underlining the positive impacts of the program on public diplomacy:

In a recent Huffington Post blog post, 100,000 Strong Foundation president Carola McGiffert calls for the diversification of study abroad to China. The general homogeneity of study abroad poses a disadvantage for not only underrepresented students themselves, but also U.S. businesses and the U.S. government, McGiffert writes.

Graduates with international experience gain both short and long-term employment benefits, as well as job mobility, according to a new impact study conducted on the Erasmus program. Both studying and interning abroad were found to improve students’ rankings on key skills deemed important by employers, and these experiences were also linked to lower unemployment rates.

Confucius Institutes continue to increase in number and funding, despite growing criticism against the institutes in the United States and a questionable impact on China’s soft power, reports The Economist.

The United States maintains a strong reputation abroad for the quality of its university education, while at the same time being among the most costly study destinations, according to a recent HSBC survey.

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International students are enriching not only the U.S. colleges and universities they attend, but also the local U.S communities in which the institutions are based, according to a new report released by the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program.

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Organizations that bring together young people from opposing sides of conflicts have proven to be successful in their attempts to forge friendships and understanding, an article in the New York Times reports.

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The Ebola outbreak in West Africa thus far has had only a modest effect on research and international education programs, Inside Higher Ed recently reported. The article notes that those countries affected by the virus “are not popular destinations for research or study abroad programs” and that “few students from the region enroll at American colleges and universities.”

In light of the ongoing crisis in Gaza and Israel, and the State Department’s updated travel warning advising U.S. citizens to “’consider’ deferring non-essential travel” to Israel, U.S. colleges are debating whether or not to evacuate their students in the region, Inside Higher Ed reports.

As studying abroad increases in popularity and importance, U.S. colleges are trying to find ways to provide access to an international experience for those students who may face social, financial, or cultural barriers, U.S. News and World Report writes.

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