Thursday, December 11, 2014

The White House Wants You To Study Abroad: #StudyAbroadBecause


The White House called me to duty recently, a surreal fantasy for any girl who misses West Wing and wonders why there aren't more books or movies like All The President's Men. So I found myself nearly speechless standing in the East Wing this past Tuesday, staring up at the simple, stunning portrait of JFK. Excuse the poor lighting in my photo and the cockeyed-angle. I'm a terrible photographer and my hands were cold from standing outside on a rainy December morning inching through the Secret Service checkpoints with my fellow education/global advocates and friends. We'd been invited to attend the White House Summit on Travel Abroad and Global Citizenship, an amazing day that I'll not do justice to in this short post. To give it the full gravitas it deserves, I'll  publish a longer post next week. In other words, I will file my official brief on the White House Briefing in a few days.

For the moment, I'll just say that The White House, including the POTUS, the FLOTUS, the Chief of Staff, the Secretary of Commerce and many other VIPS want you to know the value of traveling out to different parts of the world and reaching out to people across the globe. They also want your kids to travel too. Studying abroad is not just for the affluent art history and language majors. Not anymore. According to a number of senior administration officials.....cue the serious soundtrack....cut to the WH exterior and David Gregory...it's valuable and accessible for just about every young person today. So go, go dig up your passport, get one for the kiddies if they don't have one. Trust me, it's easier and quicker than signing up for travel soccer and a lot more fun and dare I say, rewarding.


*Confessions: I also have watched Scandal and Veep.

As for other secrets related to my recent contact with the National Security Council's Summit, I entertained a French major first semester in college and imagined I'd be holed up in some CIA safe house interrogating foreign agents that naturally spoke French, the universal language or so I was told back in middle school in Ohio. Of course there was a need for French-speaking espionage agents! At one point I desperately wanted to go to Georgetown's School of Foreign Service but my mother got freaked out by all the security talk on the college tour. Hence, I moved to Durham and moved through public policy, public health, statistics and psychology - and find myself once more back to the call of foreign lands and cross-cultural adventure and intrigue.

#WHTravelBloggers Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citzenship: My global education advocates/friends: LaShaun Martin, Chrysula Winegar, Jennifer Burden, Anastasia Dellaccio and Polly Palumbo in the East Wing, December 9, 2014.
No, I'm not a travel blogger per se, don't ask me about the Top Ten Best Trips for Families (ideas, anyone, dying to see the glaciers in Patagonia before they melt)  but I do write about our nation's youth and education. I'm committed to turning out more global citizens.

Patent pending, Hyperactivate

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