This year, nearly 300,000 Americans will study somewhere outside our border and nearly one million students will come to the United States for a world class education. These numbers tell an exciting story: even in an age when we can take a virtual trip to far-flung places just by clicking a mouse, we still want to see the world for ourselves and discover our common bonds firsthand.
At the Department of State, we have always recognized the power of studying abroad to build bridges of understanding. That's why we created the Fulbright Program in 1946. Today, it is stronger than ever with thousands of scholars traveling to and from over 150 countries. For those of you already pursuing an education abroad, I am grateful. The ties of friendship and understanding you are building are the most effective forms of diplomacy -- and they will help shape our common future.
To those students who have yet to study abroad: I urge you to stretch your boundaries and your imaginations and set off on your own adventure. Studying abroad can be one of the most rewarding and enlightening experiences of your life. It was for me, and will be for you. Thank you.