Date: October 22-24, 2009
Location: Alexandria, Virginia
“For 25 years the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel has worked with great expertise and commitment to promote quality international youth exchange programs,” stated United States Senator Richard Lugar as he congratulated CSIET on its 25-year anniversary. Senator Lugar delivered the keynote address at the CSIET 25th Annual Conference held in Alexandria, Virginia on October 22-24, 2009. Senator Lugar’s address emphasized the importance of furthering public diplomacy efforts by hosting foreign exchange students in both your homes and schools.
At the 25th CSIET Anniversary Dinner Celebration, Judith McHale, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, stressed the Departments commitment to increase the mutual understanding between the young people of the U.S. and other countries and the important role of CSIET. She stated that, “For 25 years, you have set the standards for youth exchange and over those many years you have raised the bar for quality programs. You are on the ‘front line’. You are the ones who reach out to the schools where the students both learn and enrich the education of their classmates and teachers. This is true diplomacy.” At the opening reception, United States Senator Robert Casey delivered the opening keynote address and stressed the importance of these programs and the effort of the community to strengthen operational procedures. Senator Casey commented on the high level of commitment needed when assuming responsibility for the international youth that participate in these programs.
The 25th Annual Conference came at a time of great change for CSIET and the high school youth exchange community. The gathering was on of the largest CSIET meetings to date, with almost 200 participants attending the celebration dinner. This year, the Department of State partnered with CSIET on a joint Public Service Announcement campaign in order to promote and increase American host families. Several Department of State representatives were available to review Federal oversight and regulations, including the upcoming Federal compliance audit as well new oversight initiatives for grant programs.
Conference participants attended workshops with informative topics focusing on community Best Practices, legislative initiatives and school outreach opportunities. Session topics included “Program Quality and Student Safety Taskforce Workshop”, “Advocacy & Federal Budget Update”, “United States Department of State J Visa Session”, “Host Family and Local Representative Screening Workshop”, “Media Relations: Building Effective Relationships” and “Crisis Management Planning Workshop.” Several of the presentation materials can be accessed through our “Members Only” website or by clicking here.
2009 Conference Keynote Speaker:
Rita Golden Gelman, author of “Tales of a Female Nomad” and founder of “Let’s Get Global” shared her experiences and new outreach initiatives during the closing keynote luncheon on Saturday. Ms. Gelman entertained participants with her inspirational tales of traveling the world and her efforts to popularize the concept of American high school students studying abroad through her new endeavor, “Let’s Get Global”. For more information on Rita?s work, visit www.birthofamovement.org.
CSIET would like to thank all conference sponsors and community members for their support of CSIET during the conference and throughout the year.
25th Annual Conference Sponsors –
Anniversary Dinner –
IntelliCorp Records, Inc.
Coffee Break Sponsorship –
Council on International Educational Travel
Chair’s Circle –
Educational and Cultural Interactions
Pacific Intercultural Exchange
Center for Cultural Interchange
German American Partnership Program
Illinois High School Association
PAX – Program of Academic Exchange
Youth For Understanding – USA