Francisco J. Sánchez is the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade
Today we depart for Jakarta, Indonesia for the first leg of the largest Commerce-led education trade mission ever. I am excited for this mission as we are bringing 56 colleges and universities to explore the opportunities to recruit international students to study in the U.S. as well as possibly setting up partnership and student and faculty exchanges.
I was excited to host my very first Twitter chat earlier today and I was happy to answer questions such as, how are foreign students studying in the U.S. an export and why were Vietnam and Indonesia targeted for this mission. To each, I answered that when foreign students come to study in the United States, their tuition and fees, as well as their living expenses help support the local economy in addition to the national economy. Education services ranks among the top 10 U.S. service exports, right between environmental services and safety and security. These two countries place a high value on higher education and have tremendous potential for sending students to the United States. And, in Indonesia, boosting the number of Indonesian students studying in the United States is a top priority of the U.S. Embassy.
Building ties with international students not only helps our American students gain a greater level of international understanding—a critical skill for success in the 21st century global economy—but familiarizes future global leaders with the American people and U.S. society.