exchange programsExchange programs characterize the 20th century where globalization is a popular concept. However, as the US government reduced the budget allotted for these programs, the debate on their usefulness ensue.

History of exchange programs

They commenced in the mid-19th century. They came into being out of the people’s clamor to regain peace after the World Wars. It’s what world leaders thought as the answer to end conflict besieging nations left and right.  The international community immediately realized how imperative it was to establish ties and partnership with countries on economical levels.

At first, exchange programs were limited to those between and among workers of various States. Highly-skilled workers and professionals were sent abroad for knowledge-sharing. This way, the overseas workers got to adopt a company’s best practices. They were also exposed to the culture of the receiving state. These initial programs were successful so that governments worldwide took exchange programs to the next level.

Eventually, states started encouraging students to participate in these programs. Students were given scholarships in foreign universities. They were given a specific period of time to complete a course or a program. Sometimes, exchange programs were limited to cultural visits so that students could be immersed in the culture of a particular country.

However, recently, the US which used to sponsor a lot of programs, sliced down the budget allotted for them. Is it a good move? Let’s find out.

What’s in it for the United States?

As a country-host, the crucial question to ask is whether US will benefit from exchange programs?  The answer appears to be yes for these reasons:

1) US is a young country compared to its European counterparts. The history of US began when countries in Europe had already began their expansionist programs. While the latter was expanding territories, US had only began to grow as a civilization. Thus, exchange programs are needed so that US citizens can learn many things about the ancient world from the European people.

2) US has a very much different culture from the Asians. Like the Europeans, the Asians are a class of their own. Through exchange programs in the Asia-Pacific, US can benefit from knowing about the Asian people’s diverse cultures and old practices that withstood time and are worthy of admiration.

3) Amity and cooperation among countries is promoted. A sense of cooperation is developed between countries that carry out exchange programs. Future partnership becomes highly possible.

4) Students participating in these programs are likely to land good jobs in the future. They carry with them the experiences they had travelling to other countries and interacting with people.

Bottom Line

Exchange programs are highly beneficial. This does not only apply to the United States but to the rest of the world as well.

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