Transatlantic Friendship & Mobility Initiative: Third Bilateral Seminar Held in Washington, DC

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The Transatlantic Friendship and Mobility Intitiative (TFMI), a joint declaration made on May 13, 2014 by the U.S. Department of State and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, established the United States and France’s common interest in doubling and diversifying student mobility by 2025.

Following the first two bilateral seminars held in Washington, DC in January 2015 then Paris in March 2016 where roadblocks to increasing student mobility were identified and a roadmap was proposed to move forward, this third meeting brought French and American stakeholders together to assess the actions undertaken so far. Discussions focused on successful programs that have been implemented since the beginning of the TFMI initiative and areas where additional efforts to increase student mobility are needed.

Opening remarks were provided by Patrick Lachaussée, First Counselor at the Embassy of France, Marianne Craven, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Academic Programs at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, and Frédéric Forest, Deputy Director for Higher Education and Professional Integration at the Ministry for Higher Education, Research and Innovation.

Throughout the day and a half long seminar, sessions focused on:

  • Widening the scope of publics and disciplines
  • Internationalizing and professionalizing student experiences
  • Increasing mobility by creating new opportunities
  • Relying on communities/Alumni networks
  • Mapping French-American student mobility
  • Communicating and promoting France for study abroad
  • Mutual recognition of educational systems

Workshops also allowed small groups to have in depth discussions on opening an internship offer in France, recognition of professional credentials/degrees and dual degrees issued by French and American universities.

Finally, the meeting participants were able to celebrate a successful and longstanding French-American collaboration by attending a reception celebrating the 70th anniversary of the U.S.-French Fulbright Program hosted by Ambassador Gérard Araud at the Embassy of France.