The U.S.-Mexico Internship Exchange Program – as chronicled in previous posts (see Mexico MOU Signing Ceremony) – is a central pillar in the bilateral strategy to vastly increase two-way exchanges between our countries. The strength of our relationship and the excitement on both sides of the border to increase cooperation on exchanges encouraged us to try something new. We worked closely with the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, the Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Affairs, and their academic and government partners to arrange a study tour for interested J-1 designated intern sponsors to visit Mexico City and Puebla, Mexico.
Our goal for this trip was to open up channels of cooperation for Mexican and American organizations, and to educate Mexican stakeholders about processes and opportunities within privately-funded exchange programs. A busy schedule of meetings with partners from federal and state governments, binational organizations, private sector, and academia led to new friends, new ideas, and palpable energy and enthusiasm around the U.S.-Mexico Internship program. Meetings with CONAGO, SENER, and CONACYT opened up possibilities of cooperation on a large scale. The J-1 sponsors met with some 75 Mexican university representatives in Mexico City and another 130 in Puebla to exchange important information and establish relationships.
This inaugural trip was exciting for me – I watched new partnerships being made that will measurably benefit both countries. The cherry on top was meeting Rodrigo, the General Manager of the extraordinary hotel and restaurant in Puebla, Casareyna. Can you guess which not-so-secret ingredient landed him the job? Yep, a J-1 internship!
|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.Read More
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