When you experience a different culture through educational and cultural exchange you gain a deeper understanding of yourself and those around you—deepening your knowledge of foreign cultures and strengthening international relationships.

Leaving the familiar behind and plunging into the unknown shows a commitment to understanding other people and cultures; and a commitment to learning about the world in a way that books, school assignments, and a professional career can never reveal.

"My experience in San Diego has invigorated me to change the way media works in Liberia." Lamii K., Liberia Participant

Make Lasting Connections

When you live with a host family, you are integrated into their family and temporarily become part of it. By doing so, you become aware of the inner concerns, hopes, and dreams of a family, a neighborhood or city, a nation, and global community. And with this realization comes the corresponding knowledge of what it means to belong to your own particular country and culture.

Participants develop leadership skills, self-confidence and a greater understanding of the complexities of the world around them. Getting to know the locals, experiencing the culture, and living as they do; these are things tourists miss, and this is where you really discover the way of life in another country with all its subtleties.

Embark on your educational or cultural exchange program and gain knowledge about the U.S. and its language and culture. Experience building new friendships, taking responsibility for yourself, respecting differences and tolerating the beliefs of others. And while exploring and learning about the lives of others, discover new aspects of yourself.

In their own words

Lamii K. Participant Liberia Community Solutions United States Read the story

Diversity Statement

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs statement on diversity.

Download Statement