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Celebrating International Education Exchanges

It is widely agreed that educational settings provide one of the best platforms for deep and meaningful international exchanges. Every day throughout the world, children, youth, and adults engage in experiences that stretch beyond their familiar domestic boundaries. These exchanges offer new perspectives on the lives of others, as participants are exposed to an increasingly complex and integrated world.

An education platform that opens doors to international dialogue provides a unique opportunity to reflect upon, analyze, and synthesize the knowledge gained often with the guidance of a teacher. This type of guided exchange greatly enhances the value of overall educational experiences among its participants.

In the United States, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education held International Education Week (November 12th-16th, 2012) to celebrate the transformative nature of international education exchanges that are taking place across the world. ACEI encourages all nations and communities to hold similar celebrations to recognize the value of exchanges that promote international understanding.

Research related to study-abroad programs provides evidence of transformative learning[1] taking place through intercultural exchanges within a foreign context. Such learning involves critical reflection of one’s perception of others, which leads to being less defensive against and more accepting of new ideas. These are key skills in boosting “global competency.”

Does your nation or community hold an international exchange week or similar events? Let us know. Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

To learn more about the celebration of the International Education Week in the United States go to http://iew.state.gov/. Other organizations involved with international education and exchange:


[1] Mezirow, J. (1994). Understanding transformation theory. Adult Education Quarterly. 44(4), 222-232.