We may be a little biased, but our ears definitely perked up when we heard this one:
Obama: “In the Americas…we’re expanding cultural and educational exchanges among young people.” #SOTU
— Meridian Intl Center (@MeridianIntl) January 29, 2014
Since we know a thing or two about exchanges here at Meridian, here are a few things you may not know behind this quote:
1. “In the Americas…”
You could probably guess that we don’t just do exchanges with the Americas. However, the first International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), one of the oldest exchange programs in the U.S., did come from Latin America. In 1940, Nelson Rockefeller brought a group of 130 journalists to tour the United States.
2. “…we’re expanding cultural and educational exchanges…”
While most people associate the term international exchanges with studying abroad, a large portion of exchanges are considered professional exchanges. The IVLP is a great example, which brings over 5,000 professionals to the United States every year.
3. “…among young people.”
Exchanges for young people are definitely popular, which can refer to study abroad programs or specialized youth programs. Our GlobalConnect division has a lot of experience designing these specialized projects. However, most of the participants in the IVLP program are between ages 25 and 40, with many exceeding that age. Who says you can only immerse yourself in a culture when you’re young?