Tuesday, November 17, 2009

President Obama’s Bold Plan to Send 100,000 U.S. Students to Study in China

I was reading the transcript of President Obama’s remarks at a town hall meeting held yesterday with Chinese students at the Museum of Science and Technology in Shanghai and was happy to see that he talked about educational exchange between the United States and China. This is not the first time that President Obama has met with students and talked about the importance of international exchanges and I hope it will not be the last time he talks about this issue. What caught my attention was the following statement by President Obama:

“..I'm pleased to announce that the United States will dramatically expand the number of our students who study in China to 100,000. And these exchanges mark a clear commitment to build ties among our people, as surely as you will help determine the destiny of the 21st century. And I'm absolutely confident that America has no better ambassadors to offer than our young people. For they, just like you, are filled with talent and energy and optimism about the history that is yet to be written.

So let this be the next step in the steady pursuit of cooperation that will serve our nations, and the world. And if there's one thing that we can take from today's dialogue, I hope that it is a commitment to continue this dialogue going forward.”

This is certainly a bold and interesting plan for the United States. I’m very interested in President Obama’s plans and I look forward to watching and posting to IHEC Blog about future developments in U.S.-China academic exchanges! You can read the entire transcript of President Obama's town hall meeting with Chinese students here.
Update: Video added November 18th ~ President Obama begins talking about sending 100.000 U.S. students to China at the 3:37 minute mark.

Given that it’s International Education Week and that President Obama continues to tout the importance of international exchanges between the United States and other countries with plans to send 100,000 U.S. students to study abroad in China it seems fitting for me to revisit my August 6th IHEC Blog post where I wrote “Dear President Obama – What’s Your International Policy?” which you can view


  1. After reading this post there is one question in my mind. How can adapt U.S. students to the environment in China and vice versa? American students are used to work with information which they can freely get e.g. on the internet but state controlled internet in China is about something different. They are also used to express their opinions without any restrictions but how are they going to do it in China? So, I'm looking forward to see how this issue will be solved.

    Best regards,

  2. @life insurance BMO ~ Many thanks for taking the time to comment. I too am looking forward to seeing hw this issue will develop.