Academic exchange has long been a pillar of American public diplomacy, using people-to-people interaction to form relationships, and help shape the minds of those who participate. Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has been a flagship of exchange, but it is far from the only program today.
As academic “exchange” implies a two-way process, it is not just about bringing foreign students and educators to the U.S., but also sending American students and educators abroad. The valuable skills, experience, and connections Americans learn overseas should not be discounted as a vital benefit to national security.
This fact sheet outlines the national security benefits of academic exchange, highlights the types of government sponsored programs, and explores the metrics surrounding these exchanges.