Exchanges in the media

This past weekend saw the arrival to the United States of 500 participants in the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, a cornerstone of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), a White House blog post reports. YALI is President Obama’s signature exchange program in Africa, and the Fellows will attend a town hall meeting with the President later this summer.

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After decades of strict limitations on educational exchanges between the U.S and Iran, there has in recent months been an easing of some of these restrictions, the New York Times reports.

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Fulbright alumni Charles Wright, a Pulitzer Prize winning author, was named last week as the new U.S Poet Laureate by the Library of Congress, the New York Times reported. Wright, also a retired professor at the University of Virginia, was a Fulbright scholar in Italy.

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The U.S. Department of State is commemorating this week the 30th anniversary of the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program (CBYX) with Germany (see the Department’s press release). The Department is holding a commemorative event today that includes current American and German participants, as well as officials and program alumni who have made significant impacts in their communities.

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The Fulbright Program was awarded today with the 2014 Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation, as announced by the Prince of Asturias Foundation. The Prince of Asturias Award is widely considered to be “Spain’s Nobel Prize” and aims “to reward scientific, technical, cultural, social, and humanitarian work carried out at an international level by individuals, institutions or groups of individuals or institutions.” Prior award recipients include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Red Cross, and Nelson Mandela.

James Costos, U.S. Ambassador to Spain, and Ramon Gil-Casares, Spanish Ambassador to the U.S., nominated the Fulbright Program for this prestigious award. More than 20 other nominees were up for the award, including individuals and groups from Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, Germany, Ireland, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Portugal, United Kingdom, and Spain.

Rising tuition and a lack of scholarships are leading British students to study at U.S universities, the New York Times reports.

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Last week, NAFSA: Association of International Educators held their annual conference in San Diego, CA. A prominent theme that permeated the conference, according to both the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed, was improving the U.S. college experience for international students. 

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In a speech today outlining his vision for American foreign policy, delivered at West Point Academy, President Obama spoke about the importance of educational exchanges.

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Student exchanges between the U.S and its Western Hemisphere neighbors are being limited due to financial, social, and political obstacles, writes Roberta S. Jacobson, the Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, in the Huffington Post.

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Bills are being considered in the Minnesota and New York state legislatures that would require colleges to disclose more information about their study abroad programs, Inside Higher Ed reports.

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