University of Iowa

Cultural Diplomacy

June 2nd, 2010

“21st century diplomacy takes more than government to government interaction — it also requires substantial people to people contact in which we try as directly as possible to reach people through governments, around governments, and under governments in every way possible.” — Hilary Clinton

Secretary Clinton’s quote goes to the heart of what international education is all about–providing students with the knowledge and skills they need to act as independent global citizens.  This ability is increasingly important as we enter the second decade of the 21st century.  According to Mercer’s 2008/2009 Benefits Survey for Expatriates and Globally Mobile Employees, the number of individuals working internationally has increased 90 percent in the past three years. Of the 243 multinational companies surveyed, 144 reported they have increased the number of employees they expatriate on 1-5 year-long assignments and 92 companies reported an increase in the number of employees who work on assignments while moving among countries.

At the University of Iowa, we want to give our students an edge, by providing opportunities to expand their knowledge of the world, not just through classroom study but also spending time abroad in internships and experiential learning environments.

Downing Thomas
Downing Thomas