As authorized by the Fulbright-Hays Act, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) seeks to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange programs, including the exchange of scholars, researchers,
professionals, students, and educators.
ECA programs foster engagement and encourage dialogue with citizens around the world.
Educational and cultural engagement is premised on the knowledge that mutual understanding, the development of future leaders, and the benefits of education programs influence societies and affect official decision-making almost everywhere in the world today.
ECA programs inform, engage, and influence participants across strategic sectors of society - including young people, women, teachers, scholars, journalists, and other professionals - increasing the number of foreign individuals who have first-hand experience with Americans and with the values of freedom, representative government, rule of law, economic choice, and individual dignity, while building international knowledge and capacity among Americans.
The purpose of Special Academic Exchange Programs is to provide targeted support for U.S.
and foreign students who may not otherwise have the resources to pursue international exchange opportunities or who are in fields directly relevant to identified needs in their countries.