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 You are in: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice > Former Secretaries of State > Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell > Speeches and Remarks > 2003 > November

International Education Week - November 17-21, 2003

Secretary Colin L. Powell
Washington, DC
November 12, 2003

The Department of State joins our friends in the Department of Education in welcoming all Americans to support our nation's annual week-long celebration of international education.

We are all students of the world we live in, and today, our world is more interdependent than ever before. The challenges we face in areas such as security, democratic development, economics, and health cannot be addressed by any country acting alone. International education -learning about other cultures and languages through study, living overseas, and interacting with people of other countries - promotes the free exchange of ideas, allows us to seek joint solutions to problems, and helps create lasting partnerships to meet our shared concerns.

The opportunities that I have had to live and travel overseas in my career were invaluable in expanding my horizons and giving me the tools to carry out my future responsibilities. Through exchange programs, future leaders establish ties with counterparts that increase mutual understanding and result in beneficial working relationships for years to come. Through Fulbright grants, Gilman fellowships for talented American college students with financial need to study abroad, teacher training programs, and exchanges that engage young people in the Muslim world and other regions in productive dialogue with Americans, the Department of State works to deepen understanding and strengthen voices of moderation around the world.

Our partners in schools, universities, businesses, nonprofit organizations and communities across America and abroad are essential to the success of this effort. Each day, thousands of privately-supported exchanges are helping to build a community of caring and committed citizens around the world.

As we commemorate International Education Week, November 17-21, 2003, I encourage Americans of all ages and from all walks of life to consider participating in an exchange or an international education program. Host a visitor from abroad for an evening or a school year. Learn a foreign language. Take advantage of study and professional development programs that help you better understand another country and its people. You will serve as bridges from your communities to individuals and societies abroad, demonstrating our values but also bringing new insights that will enrich your lives and enhance our nation.

Let's all celebrate International Education Week! We look forward to hearing from you at our website (http://exchanges.state.gov/iew), where you can tell us of your plans. Together we can build a more peaceful and prosperous world.


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