For more than 50 years the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) has sought to cultivate mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries to promote friendly, and peaceful relations, as mandated by the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961.
As part of America’s larger story of respect for—and interest in—all cultures and faiths, ECA’s range of programs exist to encourage mutual understanding as well as international, educational and cultural exchange, and leadership development. From artists, educators, and athletes to students and the youth in the United States and from almost every other country and territory throughout the world—ECA engages rising leaders through academic, cultural, sports, and professional exchanges.
ECA exchange program alumni encompass over 1 million people around the world, including more than 75 Nobel Laureates and nearly 450 current and former heads of state and government.
Some exchange programs open to secondary/high school students are:
- Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship
- German American Partnership Program
- Youth Ambassadors
- Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for High School Students
- Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange & Study (YES) Abroad
- and more!
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