On May 15, THO hosted a roundtable discussion on “Prospects for U.S.-Turkey Academic Exchanges and Cooperation.”
During the roundtable, attendees discussed a variety of topics, including the importance of exchange programs as drivers of public diplomacy as well as life-changing opportunities that can shape careers and build skills and networks. Participants emphasized the central role that academic and professional exchanges play in building people-to-people ties between the U.S. and Turkey.
The discussion included a focus on current challenges in U.S.-Turkey academic exchanges, including the security situation in Turkey, the suspension of U.S. study abroad programs to Turkey, and logistical difficulties for exchange participants.
A variety of recommendations for improving academic exchanges and addressing current challenges were discussed. Participants discussed the need to expand exchange programs beyond narrow communities to include a variety of backgrounds and voices. Participants also encouraged the incorporation of a language-learning component for American participants and mentioned the potential for virtual exchange programs to incorporate more students as well as address physical security concerns.
Following this initial roundtable, THO aims to build a broader program of discussions and activities surrounding challenges and opportunities in U.S.-Turkey academic, professional, and cultural exchanges.