I had the great privilege to deliver the commencement address at Dickinson College this past weekend. It is a pleasure to see so many immensely talented young people getting ready to embark upon their new lives and careers -- including several who will teach and study overseas through the Fulbright Program.
Dickinson is a leader in study abroad, and I applaud President Durden’s commitment to providing students with the international experience to develop skills needed by American and international graduates to succeed in the global workforce.
The previous week, I had the opportunity to travel to Brazil to meet with higher education leaders in government ministries, scholarship agencies, and universities. I had expected to be impressed with the bold new training initiatives that were being put in place to meet the needs of the country’s rapidly growing economy.
I was more surprised, and greatly heartened, to learn that President Dilma Rousseff had just announced that she aims to provide 75,000 study abroad scholarships to Brazilian students through 2014. This is exactly the right step to prepare Brazil’s young people to thrive in the knowledge economy. I hope to see more Brazilian students coming to the U.S. to study.
We are also working to increase U.S. study abroad opportunities in China, India, Indonesia and other Asian countries, with support from the U.S. Departments of State and Education, the National Security Education Program and the Freeman Foundation.
Educational exchange plays an important role in deepening the ties between the U.S. and the world. This month’s news items highlight the ways we are facilitating this on a policy level.