Sunday, April 1, 2018

The Impact of International Exchange Programs

alliance-exchange; Original entry contains links and colorful graphics and photographs.

THE IMPACT OF INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE PROGRAMS Over 1 million international students studied at U.S. universities and colleges in 2016-17. More than 300,000 exchange visitors come to the United States on privately funded programs each year to experience American culture and society. Programs funded by the U.S. Department of State provide over 55,000 participants the opportunity for an exchange each year. Over 325,000 Americans studied abroad for academic credit in 2015-16, and 13,000+ travel abroad every year as exchange participants. 1 U.S. Department of State, 2 NAFSA Economic Analysis 2015-2016 Academic Year 3 2014 U.S. Business Needs for Employees with International Expertise, 4 British Council-NAFSA study “A competitive Edge: Value of an international degree,”2012 5 U.S. Department of State Exchange Evaluations 6 U.S. Department of State: evaluation of the Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program 7 Public Opinion Poll Commissioned by NAFSA: 8 Congressional Research Service (CRS) review

ENGAGING FUTURE LEADERS AROUND THE WORLD AND ADVANCING KEY U.S. FOREIGN POLICY PRIORITIES Brazil: 10,500 Ukraine: 4,200 India: 6,600 Russia: 6,000 China: 37,100 Turkey: 8,100 * Source: U.S. Department of State SUPPORT U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ⊲ Participants from more than 200 countries and territories visit the United States on J non-immigrant visas each year, many from countries critical to U.S. foreign policy, such as: Brazil, China India, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine1 (See map above for 2016 numbers) ⊲ Notable exchange alumni include: 583 current or former heads of foreign governments, 84 Nobel Prize winners, 12 ambassadors to the United Nations, 31 heads of international organizations, 98 current or former members of the U.S. Congress

STRENGTHEN THE U.S. ECONOMY ⊲ International students contributed $36.9 billion to the U.S. economy and supported over 450,331 jobs during the 2015-2016 academic year2 ⊲ 86% of management-level employees at U.S. companies said in a 2014 survey that having more staff with international expertise would increase business3 ⊲ 73% of U.S. employers put significant value on international experience when hiring4 ⊲ Over 1.6 million hours of community service were completed by exchange participants and U.S. hosts5

INCREASE MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING ⊲ 94% of exchange students from Muslim-majority countries reported having a deeper, favorable view of American culture after their year in the U.S.6 ⊲ 90% of voters in a 2016 poll agreed that our nation needs an education system that produces educators, business leaders, and diplomats who understand other cultures and languages7 ⊲ A review of 29 reports on public diplomacy revealed that the most common recommendation was to increase funding for, and opportunities to engage in, exchange programs8 “If you don’t fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition ultimately. So I think it’s a cost benefit ratio. The more that we put into the State Department’s diplomacy, hopefully the less we have to put into a military budget.” – General James Mattis March 5, 2013, testimony before Senate Armed Services Committee “From my seat on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the State Department, I’ve seen firsthand the value of popular exchange programs. . .[This] good work is more important today than at any time in recent memory.” – Senator Jeanne Shaheen February 8, 2017, remarks at Global Ties U.S. Strategic Dialogue “These exchanges play increasingly important diplomatic and economic roles, while simultaneously encouraging goodwill towards the U.S. globally. They are a singularly effective way for our citizens to develop foreign language skills and cultural awareness – abilities that U.S. employers look for to remain globally competitive.” – Congressman Steve Pearce November 5, 2015, Press Release “International exchange and study programs are of particular importance in today’s global economy. These programs provide an unequaled understanding of world cultures – one that can translate into the success of American businesses, growth of the U.S. economy, and increased global and national security.” – Congressman Jim Himes November 5, 2015, Press Release “Our nation must engage with the rest of the world. But to be successful, we must listen. Our interaction with the world must be a conversation, not a monologue… these exchanges are a strategic pillar of our nation’s public diplomacy.” – Dina Powell Assistant Secretary of State, Bush Administration (2005-2007) May 26, 2005, testimony before Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

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