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Statement on International Education Week--November 15-19, 2004


Secretary Colin L. Powell
Washington, DC
October 15, 2004

The U.S. Department of State is pleased to join the U.S. Department of Education in marking the fifth year of International Education Week, November 15-19. Celebrated worldwide, International Education Week provides an opportunity to highlight the benefits of international education and exchange; to express appreciation for students and scholars who study and teach here; and to commend the millions of people who build and strengthen bridges of international understanding by organizing and participating in exchange programs.

Throughout America's history, openness has immeasurably enriched our democracy, our culture, our economy, and our nation as a whole. America’s educational institutions attract talented future leaders from around the world. International students and scholars benefit from engagement with our society and academic institutions and we benefit enormously from their interaction with our society as they help our citizens develop understanding and knowledge that enriches our lives, increases international cooperation, enhances our national security, and improves our economic competitiveness.

Meeting the 21st century challenges that confront all countries requires an unprecedented degree of understanding and cooperation among nations and among leaders in every field. The professional partnerships and lifelong friendships that result from international education and exchange help build a foundation of understanding and lasting partnerships. These partnerships are important for a secure, prosperous future, not only for the United States, but also for the world as a whole.

We are immensely proud that more than 200 alumni of State Department-sponsored international exchange programs have become heads of state or government, and we recognize the contributions of teachers and language instructors in building grass roots mutual understanding. I know that tomorrow's leaders are among the thousands of men and women who will participate this year in U.S government and privately sponsored educational exchange programs. We look forward to welcoming these exchange participants in our country, while continuing to encourage more of our own young people to study in other nations.

Please join us in this celebration and share your International Education Week activities on our website http://exchanges.state.gov/iew/. The more we learn about and understand each other, the more effective we will be in creating a world of global citizens, and the better our chances of achieving peace in our increasingly interdependent world.

2004/1116

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