The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs welcomes 63 secondary school teachers from 15 countries to the United States for the International Leaders in Education Programme (ILEP) that began on January 9, 2012.

Experienced teachers from Bangladesh, Brazil, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda are studying in groups for the next four months in specialized programs at Clemson University, South Carolina; James Madison University, Virginia; Kent State University, Ohio; and the University of Alabama at Huntsville.

Launched in 2007 by the Department of State with 65 countries, ILEP has provided over 300 secondary school teachers of English, math, science, and social studies from around the world with professional development at U.S. graduate schools of education.

The teachers also participate in U.S. cultural programmes, community service, and volunteer projects along with approximately 90 hours of field experience in local secondary schools. The program is administered by the cooperating agency the International Research and Exchange Board.

The participating teachers help U.S. host school communities expand their understanding of the world by developing and delivering joint lessons with U.S. partner teachers, making presentations about their home countries to students, teachers, and members of the host communities, and creating new friendships.

At the same time, the international teachers gain first-hand knowledge of the United States to share with students and fellow teachers in their home countries around the world.

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs promotes international mutual understanding through a wide range of academic, cultural, private-sector, professional and sports exchange programmes.

These international exchanges engage youth, students, educators, artists, athletes and emerging leaders in many fields in the United States and in more than 160 countries. Alumni of ECA exchanges comprise over one million people around the world, including more than 50 Nobel Laureates and more than 350 current or former heads of state and government.

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