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International Education Week 2005: Recognizing Exchange Program Alumni

Now in its sixth year, International Education Week is a global event

Posted: November 15, 2005 Related item: International Education Week 2005 announced  

As a part of the ongoing International Education Week, November 14-18, the U.S. Department of State recognizes all those who have participated in an international exchange program. As of November 2005, the U.S. Department of State estimates that more than 800,000 individuals have participated in U.S. Department of State-sponsored exchange programs. That number increases by approximately 30,000 each year through the professional, academic and cultural exchanges carried out by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). In addition, over 190,000 American students are currently studying in countries around the globe, and over half a million foreign students are currently studying at colleges and universities in the United States.

Alumni of U.S. Department of State exchanges programs, including Fulbrighters, International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) participants, and others have gone on to great achievements in their professional careers. Thirty-five Fulbrighters have won the Nobel Prize. Currently, 33 IVLP alumni are Head of Government or Chief-of-State.

Each month the Department of State recognizes an alumnus or alumna for his or her accomplishments. This month the "Alumna of the Month" is Sarah Alam of Pakistan, alumna of the 2004 Study of the U.S. Institute at Washington College in Maryland. Recently, Ms. Alam helped organize alumni of the ECA high school Youth Exchange and Study program in the southern port city of Karachi, Pakistan to move relief supplies to the earthquake-stricken area of Kashmir. Ms. Alam has also helped form a youth-led organization AALIANS International, which will hold an Indian-Pakistani Youth Peace Conference in Karachi in late November. Ms. Alam is featured on the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs website, http://exchanges.state.gov.

Active alumni associations have been created in many countries to maintain the connections that were made through their international exchange programs. During International Education Week, all program alumni are encouraged to reconnect with the people they met during their exchange experience. At the same time, the Department of State encourages all those who have participated in an exchange program—hosting a student, meeting with visitors at your place of employment, or actually traveling abroad—to reach out and reconnect with those people they have met.

Now in its sixth year, International Education Week is a global event. During the week, students, educators, and community leaders and our Embassies participate in a wide range of activities to recognize and celebrate the benefits of internationalism in our classrooms and our educational systems. For more information on IEW, including a worldwide list of events, please visit http://iew.state.gov/.


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