Exercising American Soft Power through International Education Exchange
The U.S has used international educational and professional exchanges as a powerful tool of understanding and influence. There are a number of international education exchange organizations in the U.S. that promote cultural exchange, academic growth, foreign policy objectives, and improve access to professional opportunities. International exchange has all sorts of incredible soft power benefits for the United States in terms of future commercial connections, international education, scientific collaboration, and greater appreciation and understanding of the United States.
The U.S. federal government has financially supported international education exchanges for more than 50 years. At the end of 2017, 1.21 million foreign students were studying in the U.S. Between 2015-2016, over 325,000 students from the U.S. studied abroad. Much of the connectivity is not funded by the U.S., but instead is funded out-of-pocket by students or indirectly subsidized by universities. However, the U.S. enables international exchanges in a number of ways including financially supporting a small, targeted amount of this. International students coming to the U.S. have been beneficial to the U.S. economy, with $36 billion contributed to the U.S. by international students in 2015-2016.
Please join us as CSIS hosts a public event on the successes, challenges, and possibilities of international education exchange in relation to U.S. foreign policy objectives.