The U.S. government should double the number of participants in the Department of State’s Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program, according to a The Hill blog post by former U.S. Ambassador to Kuwait Richard LeBaron.

The U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy (ACPD) officially released yesterday its “2015 Comprehensive Annual Report on Public Diplomacy & International Broadcasting.” The report itemizes Department of State and Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) public diplomacy and international broadcasting activities, including Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) exchange programs.

Fulbright University Vietnam (FUV) is set to enroll its first class of students “from around Asia and beyond” in fall 2016, according to PIE News. The University, which received partial funding for its establishment from the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), will be the first independent, non-profit, U.S.-affiliated university in Ho Chi Minh City. 

Representative Glenn Thompson (R-PA) spoke in support of the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) program yesterday on the House floor, noting that the program “has shown tremendous success in fostering a stronger relationship between the United States and Germany.”

In his remarks, Rep. Thompson outlined several of the long-term benefits of the program for both German and American CBYX participants:

The Senate Committee on Appropriations approved the FY16 State-Foreign Operations (SFOPS) spending bill yesterday, providing $49.0 billion in overall funding and allocating $590.9 million for Department of State educational and cultural exchange programs.

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An amendment adopted by the House of Representatives yesterday allows the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to provide grants to Hispanic-serving higher education institutions to offer advanced foreign language programs that would be of “immediate” interest to the intelligence community, as well as for study abroad and cultural immersion programs.

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The House State-Foreign Operations (SFOPS) Appropriations subcommittee today released their FY16 spending bill along with the accompanying report, in advance of the full committee mark-up tomorrow.

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The House State-Foreign Operations (SFOPS) Appropriations Subcommittee today approved by voice vote its FY16 funding bill, including Department of State exchange programs.

Educational and cultural exchange programs are provided $582.531 million in FY16 – about $40.55 million less than the President’s request of $623.079 million, and $7.37 million less than the FY15 enacted level of $589.9 million. 

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The Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday approved its spending allocations for the twelve FY16 appropriations bills, allocating $49.0 billion for State-Foreign Operations, which funds the Department of State and State Department exchanges. This spending allocation maintains total funding nearly at the current funding level for international affairs, the United States Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) explains.

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The House and Senate passed a budget resolution conference agreement last week that recommends $47.1 billion for international affairs in FY16. This is the first time in several years that both chambers of Congress agreed to a budget resolution guiding the appropriations bills for the upcoming fiscal year.

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