Published on March 1, 2015
Updated on Aug. 21, 2017
Throughout 2015, the U.S. Department of State will celebrate 75 years of international exchange programs. The U.S. Department of State administers exchange programs for more than 50,000 participants each year. Shortly after World War I, the United States realized that fostering mutual understanding among different cultures could have a greater impact than weapons. This insight led to the U.S. Department of State forming a Division of Cultural Relations, and the first exchange program visitor arrived in the United States from Ecuador in 1940.