Greetings from your State Department Diplomat-in-Residence for the New York Metro area! Since I began in September, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting students, faculty, and administrative teams from schools across New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. I have seen firsthand just how strong an interest there is in international study and work opportunities as students seek to travel the world, strengthen core skills, and gain insight into future career options.
Today marks the beginning of International Education Week (IEW). Coordinated by the U.S. Department of State and the Department of Education, IEW highlights the importance of international education for American students and the opportunities available to international students pursuing education in the United States. This year the United States is celebrating the 15th anniversary of International Education Week (IEW), and our theme is “International Education is for Everyone.” If you explore the latest Open Doors report, released November 17, you can get a sense of just how widespread study abroad has become in the United States.
I look forward to engaging with students at international education events occurring in the New York area this week and sharing my own experiences as a studying abroad in Paris from 1999-2000. As a New York City native and the daughter of immigrants to the United States, I found myself drawn to explore national identity and citizenship issues while in France through interviews with first-generation immigrants from North African countries. The connections I made to their experiences formed the basis of my senior thesis and graduate school research, and affected my choice to study Arabic and serve the Middle East as a Foreign Service Officer.
My experience and that of many others show that people with an international education bridge socio-economic, cultural, political, religious, and geographic differences and promote greater understanding of one another’s values and views. We need students from diverse backgrounds from locations around the world and with an assortment of academic interests.
The State Department directly supports exchange programs that make international educational experiences accessible for people representing the full diversity of communities. Increasing the number and diversity of students who benefit from these experiences is integral to building and sustaining a more democratic, secure, and prosperous world. International students enrich classrooms, campuses and communities in ways that endure long after students return home. This cooperation is essential to solving global challenges like climate change, violent extremism, as well as health and food security.
Below are some of the resources at your fingertips to learn more. I hope to see City College students at the November 18 panel on international education and careers hosted by the Undergraduate Student Government, and I encourage you to be in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Links for further research: