Peace Corps Hosts International Education Symposium

November 20, 2002

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 20, 2002—Today, the Peace Corps hosted a symposium and reception to celebrate International Education Week. As a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education, International Education Week highlights the efforts of both organizations to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States.

International Education Week is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. Programs focused on preparation, training, and community support and sought to teach the skills of building cultural awareness, language and technical skills related to safe environments, assessing and managing risk, and building travelers personal responsibility.

"During the past year, it has become very clear that broadening our international understanding is critical," said Secretary of Education Rod Paige. "This will mean renewed efforts to encourage the study of foreign languages and cultures, and to provide opportunities for all students to broaden their knowledge of the world."

Secretary of State Powell added that, "People-to-people diplomacy, created through international education and exchanges, is critical to our national interests. Americans who study abroad expand their global perspective and become more internationally engaged. Foreign students and individuals who participate in citizen exchanges return home with a greater knowledge of our democratic institutions, and America's enduring values."

The Peace Corps Symposium is only one of various events that will take place throughout the city during the week of November 18th. More information on International Education Week 2002 can be found on the U.S. State Department’s web site at www.exchanges.state.gov.

Since 1961, more than 165,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps, working in such diverse fields as education, health and HIV/AIDS, information technology, business development, the environment, and agriculture. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a two-year commitment.

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