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Welcome to the U.S. Department of State. The information for students, parents, and educators on this website is being transitioned to the full State Department site at www.state.gov. Specifically, see http://www.state.gov/youthandeducation/.


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There is no country in the world that is not touched by America, and there is no country that does not touch us in some way. American principles of democracy, freedom, tolerance, and opportunity inspire people throughout the world. Increased recognition and understanding of these common values increases trust among nations and peoples and betters the chances of resolving differences and reaching agreements.

To achieve this understanding of other people and nations, the State Department must explain the policies of the United States. While ensuring that its voice is heard in foreign affairs, good diplomacy dictates that we must also listen to the voices and concerns of other nations and peoples. The most effective way to have others hear our message is to welcome their views, from which we have much to learn.

The State Department provides information to foreign audiences, often in various foreign languages, through television broadcasts, videos, print publications, and the Internet, and by arranging appearances by visiting speakers. The Department has placed announcements on international television programs to show America's values of freedom and religious tolerance to audiences in Arab and Muslim nations.

One of the most effective means of building mutual understanding is through one of our oldest tools: educational and cultural exchanges. The State Department annually sponsors more than 35,000 such exchanges--both visitors to this country and American traveling abroad. These exchange programs offer firsthand experiences of American people, culture, and art to foreign visitors; they also expose Americans to other cultures, ideas, and experiences. Such intercultural experiences give reality to the universal values of human rights, freedom, equality, and opportunity that bind together all civilized nations. Also see www.exchanges.state.gov.


A Muslim-American family living in California. [James Kemp/Black Star]

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