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Ambassador Fisher on the value of educational exchange between the United States and Cyprus
October 1, 2023

I am a firm believer that educational exchanges transform the lives not only of individuals, but also of nations. Educational exchange is one of the most powerful ways in which the United States and Cyprus create, develop, and deepen the people-to-people ties. These are our oldest ties, and they form the core of our bilateral relationship. The connections that are made as a result of our educational exchanges lead to greater understanding and friendship between Americans and Cypriots and reaffirm our shared values and create space to engage in meaningful dialogue.

The U.S. Embassy in Cyprus has been administering exchange programs in Cyprus since 1955. For decades, our exchange programs have engaged youth, students, educators, artists, athletes, entrepreneurs, and rising leaders in the United States and in Cyprus. We support a variety of other initiatives that promote cultural understanding by protecting the rich cultural heritage of Cyprus and providing educational resources for people interested in learning about American culture and the English language. We are lucky to have thousands of Cypriot alumni of the Fulbright Program and the International Visitor Leadership Program, who bring their US experiences back to Cyprus to apply what they have learned to their work or their studies, contribute to their communities and share what they know of the United States with other Cypriots.

With almost 12,000 years of history stretching back to the neolithic era, Cyprus is a fascinating place to study the movements of people, goods, and ideas throughout history. The Embassy has been supporting the cultural preservation of Cypriot antiquities and in the development of scholarly expertise to research, restore, and document this history. The chance to study geology, archaeology, and anthropology attracts scholars and students from around the world to Cyprus.

This island is steeped in history and rich in diverse cultures. American students who spend time in Cyprus will find that the island offers limitless opportunities to expand cross-cultural understanding with the hospitable Cypriot people. There is no doubt that our continued investment in exchanges between the United States and Cyprus is building meaningful bridges of understanding between our two countries. When Cypriots return home from their programs in the United States, and when Americans return to the United States from their programs in Cyprus, we see that. Our alumni tell us they are changed, connected, have greater understanding of and more interest in world cultures and international careers. Exchange programs have the power to bring our two nations closer together.

American students in Cyprus – as well as Cypriot students studying in the United States – bring their talents, perspectives, and cultures to our respective communities. Students can take full advantage of the opportunities available to them on an educational exchange when they embrace rich cultures, understand complex histories, form long-lasting friendships, enjoy great food and Cyprus’ beautiful natural landscapes – and have fun!

I also encourage Cypriot students to consider the United States as a destination for achieving their higher education goals. The Department of State’s global network of more than 430 EducationUSA international student advising centers operates in 175 countries and territories – including in Cyprus – to promote U.S. higher education to students around the world by offering accurate, comprehensive, and current information about opportunities to study at accredited postsecondary institutions in the United States.

Students from the United States and Cyprus are in a wonderful position to take advantage of the educational opportunities our two countries present. Many Cypriot institutions have partnerships with colleges and universities in the United States, and we are always working to expand these opportunities. The connections that are made as a result of our educational exchanges lead to greater understanding and friendship between Americans and Cypriots, reaffirm our shared values, and create space to engage in meaningful dialogue on any number of issues.

We are proud of the people-to-people ties between Americans and Cypriots, and we look forward to further deepening our bilateral relationship through education.

The health and safety of American citizens abroad is the Department of State’s highest priority. We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens planning to travel to Cyprus review the country-specific information posted on travel.state.gov. We also recommend that U.S. citizens enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) ahead of their travel overseas, to receive important travel alerts and to be easily reached by the U.S. Embassy in case of emergency. U.S. citizens should also visit the U.S. Embassy’s website for further information on these and other American Citizen Services we provide.