Girl sitting a table with other children holding a magnifying glass up to her eye

How does the U.S. Department of State engage American youth?

The U.S. Department of State has a deep interest in educating and involving today’s students—the leaders and diplomats of tomorrow. Because of this, it has provided accessible information and various programs to help students become better acquainted with U.S.foreign affairs and policy.

“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt, U.S. President
A group of students seated around a table in a classroom, all holding up pieces of cardboard with writing on them
Students raise their country cards to have a
chance to speak during a debate at the Model United Nations Conference.

One way in which the State Department engages students in citizen diplomacy is through the Fulbright Program and other student exchange programs. The Fulbright Program offers highly competitive U.S. Government grants for U.S. undergraduate and graduate students and educators to research abroad. Other exchange programs expand the opportunity to a wider population. Both those who study abroad and those who host foreign students benefit from engaging with peers from other countries and learning about their culture. These exchanges break down barriers and give both individuals a more worldwide perspective.

For college students and recent graduates seeking a direct experience with diplomacy, the State Department offers regularly occurring internships, both paid and unpaid. The paid internships take place through the Pathways Program and involve only work in the United States. The unpaid internships are offered both in Washington D.C. at State Department headquarters, and overseas at the different embassies. These internships involve students in the diplomatic process, with a wide variety of duties ranging anywhere from planning sports programs, to working at English camps, handling logistics for a VIP visit or writing economic reports.

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