The State Department wants international education to be a part of every student’s academic career. When classrooms have international students, all students gain new perspectives, learn how to work with diverse peers, and experience communicating across cultures and languages. We hope that during this International Education Week (IEW) current and perspective students see how an international education will prepare them to succeed in the global economy.
There are thousands of private and academic institution sponsored opportunities to experience study abroad, and the State Department also sponsors thousands of students each year on scholarships to study abroad. Programs like the Critical Language Scholarship and the National Security Language Initiative for Youth enable American students to learn foreign languages that will help them compete in the international marketplace. The Fulbright Program alone sends over 3,000 Americans overseas each year to study, teach, and conduct research in foreign countries. Upon their return, these scholars use their overseas experiences to improve their home communities. They launch their own businesses, teach classes at local universities, and conduct cutting-edge research. Many of these scholars credit their experience on exchange programs as a catalyst for professional success. Just this year, two American Fulbright alumni received the Nobel Prizes in Medicine and Physics for their outstanding contributions in their respective fields.
Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) Participants visit the U.S. Diplomacy Center at the U.S. Department of State. (State Department photo)
If you are interested in international education and the doors it opens, this week is an opportunity to get involved. Here are a few ways you can bring international education home.
Host an Event
Organize an International Education Week event and submit it to our events page so others can attend. Also, find events in your area. We have updated our official IEW materials (including program materials, social media posts, videos, certificate templates, Snapchat filters), and we encourage you to customize and use these resources to help make your event a success. You can also check out the latest Open Doors Report on international and U.S. student mobility and share facts that interest you. There are so many stories to tell, from the record high 1.08 million international students studying in the United States in 2016-17 to the 325,000+ American students who are studying abroad, more than triple the number who studied abroad two decades ago. Additionally, the population of U.S. students studying abroad continues to diversify, with greater inclusion of students from underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds. Or find out how your alma mater compares in the report and share it.
Film a #20Questions Video
Film a “20 Questions” interview using a smartphone with an international student and showcase what it is like to study abroad. Tag it with #20Questions and #IEW2017. We created a video of an Egyptian student studying in Washington, D.C. to get the ball rolling, and we put together a guide to help you film your own.
Join the Conversation
Share your story on social media using #IEW2017. Join the conversation and share what you’re doing, or adapt our suggested social media posts to resonate with your audiences. You can add the IEW overlay on your Facebook profile to get the conversation started, or RSVP to the International Education Week Facebook event and invite your friends. Encourage Americans you know to apply for their first passport, or simply invite any international students in your networks to sign up for the free virtual college fair. They’ll get to chat about educational opportunities with recruiters from more than 100 U.S. institutions of higher education. You can make an impact by lending your voice on social media, promoting the value of international education from a personal perspective.
A participant in the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) exchange program poses for a photo at a meeting in Washington, DC after a month long exchange program in the United States. (State Department photo)
We can make this year’s International Education Week the most memorable one yet. Share your experience, and together we’ll inspire others to pursue an international education experience.