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Fireside Chat: Students as Diplomats? – On the History and Future of Transatlantic Student Exchange

October 28 @ 4:30 pm - 5:45 pm

Germany and the United States share some of the oldest and most active student exchange programs in the world. Every year, tens of thousands of German and American students cross the Atlantic, many on exchange programs. For more than a hundred years, these programs have been founded on the hope that memories of Heidelberg or Harvard or Freiburg or Florida would ultimately benefit transatlantic relations. But how important are students really to transatlantic “friendship”? 

This session will provide a brief introduction to the stormy history of German-American student exchange and will host a critical discussion on international students as national ‘ambassadors’ abroad. What can – and can’t – student exchange achieve? Should student exchange be influenced by immediate geopolitical concerns (what about exchange with Russia, for example?), and does it even continue to be relevant in a world that is connected in so many other ways?

With Elisabeth Piller


October 28
4:30 pm - 5:45 pm
Event Category:


Harvard Kennedy School | Rubenstein R-414
79 John F. Kennedy St
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States
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