The Star of International Education Week: The Students

Earlier this month, the U.S. Departments of State and Education, as well as schools, universities, and communities across the country -- and around the world -- came together to promote the value of international education. Each year since International Education Week began at the turn of the millennium, more and more people have shared their experience with international education, while simultaneously the number of students who participate in study abroad has also steadily grown.

International Education Week kicked off, as it does each year, with the release of the Open Doors Report, published in collaboration with the Institute of International Education, whose staff works meticulously to collect and verify the data from schools around the world.  We were excited that for the first time in history, over one million international students studied in the United States during the 2015-2016 academic year, and that the total number of U.S. students studying continues to rise as well. During the 2014-2015 academic year, the number of U.S. students who studied abroad exceeded 313,000.

This year, we chose the theme: “Empowering Youth Through International Education” as a way to recognize and celebrate youth around the world and empower them to explore new opportunities in international education. We know when people go abroad, especially to study, they make connections that broaden their worldview.  They become part of an international network of individuals with the shared experience of navigating new languages and cultures as they gain knowledge and develop new critical thinking skills. These are particularly valuable skills and perspectives to gain as a young person whether from the United States or overseas.

This year more than ever before, people around the world joined us in amplifying the underlying trends and dynamic shifts in the student mobility landscape. With millions of people involved in supporting study abroad around the world, there were so many diverse voices out their sharing their stories.

As such, we want to honor a few of the social media stars who assisted our efforts. On Facebook, from the top of the world and from  sea to shining sea, international students reflected in photos on how they shared their culture with their host community:

"Picture yourself abroad, just like these students! Their dreams: South Korea, Costa Rica, Japan and "everywhere"! #IEW2016 #aggiesabroad" Check out more photos from our International Education Week photo album on Facebook. [Photo via Texas A&M]

On Twitter, youth prominently showed how international education is key to building a more inclusive and prosperous global society, through African dance sessions, in classrooms of Bangladesh, and via more than 16,000 tweets that featured #IEW2016:

All of us who work in this area know how vital international exchange is to our shared future. The next generation of leaders must have the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in our global economy, create positive social change in our communities, and address the most pressing shared challenges we face as a global society. We are glad so many people joined us this year in sharing the message.

About the Author: Nathan Arnold is the Director of Media Relations for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

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Mohamed O.
Indiana, USA
November 28, 2016
I couldn't agree more! I am myself an international student from Somalia. I have been studying in the U.S for the last 5 years. I have learned a lot and I don't think there is any another way I could have done it without being here in the U.S physically. Studying in abroad doesn't only broaden one's views about the world but I think it also challenges them to learn new languages which will bring a number of other challenges. It's only possible for someone to learn so much about other people's culture and way of life by leaving their comfort zones and throwing themselves into a situation they are not sure about its outcome. But believe me, it will turn out to be your best time and hopefully the best decision you ever make. Traveling is a sneak peak of the great show you will experience if you decide to watch. Living in the country for some time is what I would recommend the best experience. As the great writer and thinker Mark Twain once said, ",Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts." I think that was true back then and continues to be true.
Serena M.
New York, USA
November 29, 2016
International education is an experience of a lifetime, you have to make the most of it! <a href="">Help writing an essay</a>
Posted by Nathan Arnold
November 28, 2016


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