academic exchange

Most outsiders know the United Arab Emirates from Dubai’s accomplishments in international commerce, tourism, and indoor skiing. What is less known is that Abu Dhabi is investing a great deal of money in education, medicine, art, and music as a new kind of cultural diplomacy.

Professor Mohammed S. Dajani took 27 Palestinian college students to visit the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland a few weeks ago as part of a project designed to teach empathy and tolerance.

First lady, Michelle Obama is currently visiting China with her daughters, Sasha and Malia and her mother, Marian Robinson. The trip marks the first ever made by a first lady to China without her husband in tow. Mrs. Obama is there to promote educational exchanges between the U.S. and China but she has also subtly been addressing the issue of freedom of expression.

For the past three years, the Sound Central Music Festival drew artistic talent from across Afghanistan, featuring music, dance and art. But not this year. On April 5, Afghans will head to the polls to vote for a new president from a slate of 10 candidates. The situation is a bit uneasy right now, so it’s not the best time for a full-on music festival. So one of the festival’s organizers came up with another idea.

It’s the smallest and most obvious thing, and yet my life was at stake: I had to learn to look to the right when crossing the street.  That’s my first memory when I think back on the exchange program I attended in the United Kingdom as a junior in college.  Like everyone who takes the big jump into studying abroad, I was immersed in a different culture full of new people, foods, and sounds.

Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden will deliver remarks on 100,000 Strong in the Americas on Friday, January 17, 2014, at 2:45 p.m. at the Department of State. The event will also feature remarks by Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta S. Jacobson, and Special Advisor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.

In our book, First Globals: Understanding, Managing, and Unleashing the Potential of Our Millennial Generation, Joan Snyder Kuhl and I present a number of prescriptions for welcoming Millennials into the workforce. One of my favorites involves the creation of a First Globals Technology Corps, a practical and cost-efficient way of utilizing the special skills of this mobile and techno-savvy age cohort, while at the same time, allowing them to make a real difference in the world.

On the sad occasion of Nelson Mandela’s death, it’s worth recalling his words on languages: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” I read that quote on a poster on the wall at the Beijing Language and Cultural University on a smoggy morning this September – BLCU is one of the British Council’s longest standing and biggest partners in China.