Yes, you read that correctly. Your student can help make the world a better place. Your son or daughter can shape America’s image that is projected to the rest of the world.
At the U.S. Department of State, after years of helping American teenagers study abroad, we have seen some of the very best of what they can accomplish. It’s inspiring to witness the transformation and growth when they challenge and immerse themselves in a different culture. And while they are learning new skills and broadening their horizons, they are acting as ambassadors for the United States, creating the people-to-people relationships that will benefit our country for generations to come.
We’re committed to providing merit-based study abroad scholarships for American high school students and to reflecting the rich diversity of the United States. These exchanges develop each participant’s potential and build strong and lasting relationships with people of other countries.
After their summer, semester, or year abroad, we welcome these young Americans home and encourage them to share what they learned overseas with their own communities. Their personal growth, leadership skills, and language fluency open new doors and inspire them to be active global citizens.
Today’s teenagers are the next generation of leaders and innovators; they will be called upon to find solutions to global problems and challenges. They will need to be confident problem-solvers and know how to work effectively across cultures and borders. Study abroad provides these essential skills and so much more.
But we’re not the only ones who believe that a study abroad experience is advantageous in today’s interdependent world. Exchange experiences make American teenagers stand out to colleges and employers worldwide. In a survey of Fortune 1000 executives, 65 percent list ‘global awareness’ as very important or absolutely essential in order to be ready for college and a career.
As we celebrate International Education Week, we encourage everyone to consider study abroad. Learn more about the U.S. Department of State’s high school study abroad programs at exchanges.state.gov. The world needs your teenager.
About the Author: Evan Ryan serves as Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs.