Expanding Opportunities to Learn about Diplomacy

International Education Week reminds us of the importance of preparing youth to be global citizens.  

We need to expose them to worldwide issues, help them recognize and evaluate different perspectives, encourage them to communicate their ideas effectively, and inspire them to get involved.  The U.S. Diplomacy Center fulfills these goals through our educational programs and -- once it opens -- through our interactive museum.

As an education specialist for the U.S. Diplomacy Center, I strive to make the world of diplomacy and the work of U.S. diplomats accessible to educators and students through a range of topics that affect our everyday lives. Our popular Diplomatic Simulations Program allows us to interact with teachers and students in neighboring school districts as well as with foreign exchange student groups funded by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Each immersive simulation invites students to address critical global issues through diplomacy. These simulations go beyond geography to help students understand how the United States relate to other nations, and how our bilateral and multilateral relationships with other countries affect the way we advance U.S. foreign policy. Students can negotiate with one another on topics that U.S. diplomats have encountered in the past and present day. Students and teachers learn critical thinking, conflict resolution, and negotiating skills as they better understand how diplomacy has helped shape our nation.

Students participate in an educational diplomacy simulation at the State Department's U.S. Diplomacy Center in Washington, D.C. [State Department Photo]

To date, the Diplomacy Center has five simulation scenarios that reflect global issues. These simulations leave students full of curiosity about the work of foreign policy and inspire them to get involved in the world of diplomacy:

  • Protect & Prevention: Minorities, Refugees & International Resolution
  • The Suez Canal Crisis: National Sovereignty versus International Access to Waterways
  • Crisis in Darfur: Negotiating a Solution
  • Crisis in our Oceans: Negotiating a Solution to Protect our Food
  • Cross Border HIV/AIDS Conflict: Negotiating a Non-Discriminatory Prevention and Treatment Agreement

The U.S. Diplomacy Center joins the celebration this week of international education. We share the global commitment to education through our programs and future museum, and we look forward to continuing to teach future generations of global citizens to achieve, lead, innovate, and get involved in international affairs.

About the Author: Lauren K. Fischer serves as an Education Program Specialist at the U.S. Diplomacy Center in the Bureau of Public Affairs.

For more information:

U.S. Diplomacy Center
November 19, 2015

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