April 29, 2016 – The U.S. Embassy in Bandar Seri Begawan hosted a gala networking event for alumni of exchange programs sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. The event took place at the Rizqun International Hotel in Gadong.
Through its Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the U.S. Department of State runs more than 100 programs that bring international participants to the United States and that send Americans around the world. These programs include professional, private sector, academic, cultural, youth, and even sports exchanges. In Brunei, the U.S. Embassy has nominated many outstanding Bruneians to participate in select programs. The programs in which Bruneians have participated include: the Fulbright Foreign Student Program and Fulbright US-ASEAN Visiting Scholar Program; the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP); the Southeast Asia Young Leaders Program (SEAYLP); the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI); the Voluntary Visitor Program; the Study in the United States Institute Scholar Program (SUSI); the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies Program (APCSS); and other Embassy nominated programs
Altogether over 80 U.S program alumni members from Brunei attended the event, enjoying the opportunity to network with others and to share their experiences.
U.S. Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam, Craig Allen, spoke during the event. During his remarks, he told the gathered alumni that “We are proud to have alumni from as far back as the nineteen-eighties, when the United States and Brunei first established formal diplomatic relations. You represent an important and direct connection between our two countries. Your participation in a U.S. exchange program, I hope and believe, has strengthened U.S.-Brunei relations.”
In 2015, the U.S. Department of State celebrated the 75th anniversary of its international exchange programs. The Department recognizes that the free exchange of culture, information and ideas can have a far-reaching and long-term positive impact on the conduct of international relations. The Department of State will continue to invest in programs that bring people of different countries together.