Public Diplomacy

American students return from study abroad more nationalistic, but feeling less threatened by their host countries compared to their peers who have not yet studied abroad, according to a study recently discussed in the Washington Post.

In response to political unrest in Yemen and concerns for their safety, a group of Yemeni exchange students have received a waiver to complete an additional year of studies in the U.S., according to a listing in the Federal Register last week. The students were participants in the Department of State’s Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program during the 2014-2015 academic year.

A warming in U.S.-Iran diplomatic relations, along with a potential nuclear agreement, may create new opportunities for academic exchanges and partnerships between the two countries, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education and the PIE News.

On a trip to Vietnam last week, Secretary of State John Kerry highlighted the importance of educational partnerships between the U.S. and Vietnam, and the role exchanges have played in the transformation of U.S.-Vietnamese relations.

During remarks delivered in Hanoi on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of normal diplomatic relations between the two countries, Secretary Kerry noted:

Meeting with 500 Mandela Washington Fellows earlier this week, President Obama praised the “incredible talent” of the fellows and the diplomacy value of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI):

“These connections, partnerships, and friendships forge an understanding that brings our peoples closer together.”

The YALI program is an opportunity to develop global leaders, Obama explained to the fellows:

In response to a request by a bipartisan group of Members of Congress, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) recently announced the formation of the Commission on Language Learning that will conduct the first national study on foreign language learning in more than 30 years, PR Newswire reports.

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During the three-day Presidential Summit of the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders earlier this week, Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA) commended the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and its potential to foster change and create long-term, positive effects.

After congratulating the Washington Mandela fellows on their participation in the very competitive program, Rep. Johnson noted:

A group of “outstanding young nonprofit leaders [from] around the world” are serving U.S. nonprofits and honing their professional skills, reports The Washington Post.

U2 singer-songwriter Bono paid tribute to the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program and to the Irish students affected by a balcony collapse this summer, The Irish Times reports.

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:

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