Sunday, September 23, 2007

President Bush Authorizes U.S.-Polish Youth Exchange

President Bush Authorizes U.S.-Polish Youth Exchange
21 September 2007

White House
President Bush signed into law on Thursday, September 20 the "United States-Poland Parliamentary Youth Exchange Program Act of 2007," which authorizes an educational exchange program for secondary school students between the United States and Poland.

The program creates an exciting new opportunity for American and Polish secondary students to spend a year learning each other's common political and cultural values. While funding for the program is pending, the signed law authorizes the Department of State, in cooperation with the government of Poland, to establish a an Exchange Program for American and Polish secondary students under 19 years old who have been accepted for up to one academic year of study abroad in a credit-approved program. Participants will live in and attend a public secondary school in the host country for one academic year and undertake academic studies in the host country. Students will gain knowledge of the history, constitution, and political development of the host country, and will be eligible for an internship in the host country.

The initial legislation, sponsored by Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), was fashioned on the successful U.S.-Germany Congress-Bundestag program that provides full scholarships for American high school students to live with a host family and attend school in Germany for a year.

"I'm very happy to see this important law signed by President Bush," said U.S. Ambassador to Poland Victor Ashe. "Real experience of another culture is the best education, and through this kind of exchange we will be helping to develop tomorrow's business and political leaders, teachers and thinkers in Poland and in the United States."