Washington, D.C. - It was a rare occasion when U.S. President Barrack Obama corps executives invited the country's top travel bloggers in the White House on Tuesday afternoon. The idea was to leverage digital media in pursuit of promoting cross cultural education among Americans.
The conference, which was participated by some 100 travel bloggers from various websites, was intended to encourage international student exchange. The event also served as a preliminary brainstorming activity of programs that the government can launch in order to make overseas studying more appealing to the younger generation of Americans.
"What we hear from you is going to be helpful for us as we design our policies," said Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security advisor for strategic communications and speechwriting. The program is designed to promote not only developed countries but also emerging destinations.
Students who possess a "true world view", according to the President's commerce secretary Penny Pritzker, have greater advantage in the workplace. Pritzker added that exposure to different cultures and destinations expands the individual's horizon, which in turn becomes an asset to an organization.
U.S. Chief-of-Staff Denis McDonough, in behalf of the Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, said that travel bloggers have a huge influence through their writing.
Starting January 2015, the U.S. government is set to launch the Study Abroad Office, which will exclusively cater overseas education programs for schools nationwide.
"Study abroad is often considered the pivotal event of young people's lives. It is the moment the world is opened up to them and their preconceived notions are turned upside down," said Evan Ryan from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs branch of the U.S. Department of State.
The event concluded with a dinner hosted by Turkish Airlines at the Newseum, followed by an opportunity to socialize with some members from the Obama administration.