November 11th to 15th marks the 14th annual International Education Week. The week provides an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and people-to-people exchanges worldwide. This joint initiative by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education is part of an effort to promote programs that prepare students for a globalized environment and attract future leaders from countries around the world to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States.
International education creates relationships between people and communities in the United States and around the world that are necessary to solve global challenges. By sharing diverse ideas, perspectives, and experiences, students benefit. They return home with new knowledge, a global skill set, and a deeper understanding of the values and perspectives held by people of another country.
“In today’s increasingly interconnected world, the principle challenges that we face are global in nature,” said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry:
“So we need more talented scientists and engineers, business leaders, teachers, social entrepreneurs, diplomats – people in all sectors who can work across borders to find solutions.”
Students who study abroad become leaders in all sectors and professions. As leaders, their ideas and decisions often reflect an international acumen that helps build more prosperous, equitable, and stable societies:
“I have met many prime ministers, foreign ministers, finance ministers [and] other leaders, all of whom came to school in the United States and when they went back home after their studies, they left here with a strong connection to our country and our people.”
Students with experience overseas gain the knowledge, skills, and self-reliance that are needed to compete in today’s globalized economy. With new perspectives, skills, and relationships, they help strengthen their communities and advance their careers.
“Education yields enormous dividends on relatively small down payments,” said Secretary Kerry. “And international educational exchanges pay some of the best social dividends. Only by immersing ourselves in each other’s languages and cultures can we truly understand each other and build partnerships.”
International Education Week emphasizes global understanding and international awareness through a variety of social, educational, and service programming. Events are scheduled at embassies, consulates and American libraries to demonstrate how education can build and sustain a more democratic, secure, and prosperous world that benefits the international community.