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The Rhode Island State House

Posted on Thursday, August 14th, 2014 at 3:37 pm.

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The Rhode Island State House

In this post, my colleague, Deb Shetler, shares her experience during a recent visit to Rhode Island.

Earlier this month, eight Summer Work Travel (SWT) participants had the privilege of meeting with the Governor of Rhode Island and touring the impressive marble state building as part of a cultural event organized by their sponsor organization.

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The exchange visitors with Gov. Lincoln Chafee

Afterwards, the participants were able to learn more about Governor Chafee’s background and some fun facts about the state of Rhode Island including the historic State House.  Did you know, for example, that Rhode Island is the smallest state in the entire country, yet has the longest official name: “The State of Rhode Island and the Providence Plantations?”  Or that the dome of the State House is the fourth-largest self-supporting marble dome in the world?  The students also learned that the State Building houses an original cannon from the U.S. Civil War!

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Dilara Shunayeva from Kazakhstan listens as Gov. Chafee responds to a question from the group.

It was a real treat to meet and speak personally with Governor Chafee, whose enthusiasm about his job was evident.  The students learned that he worked as a U.S. Senator prior to becoming Governor.  This unique meet-and-greet opportunity brought a smile to the students’ faces, as it is extremely rare for young people like themselves to meet with an elected government official in their home countries.  And who knows, this meeting may have inspired one or more of these students to run for office one day!

Aleksandar Simonovikj of Macedonia practices speaking at the governor’s podium

Aleksandar Simonovikj of Macedonia practices speaking at the governor’s podium

Categories: Participants, Program Spotlight

About G. Kevin Saba

Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange


G. Kevin Saba serves as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange at the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). In this capacity, he oversees the Exchange Visitor Program, which brings around 300,000 foreign citizens to the United States annually to teach, study, and build skills. He is the Director for the Policy and Program Support Division in ECA’s Office of Private Sector Exchange.

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