AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY
Thank you, Consul General Hankins, for that generous introduction and for your leadership. And of course — allow me to thank EducationUSA and the Alumni Association for bringing us all together.
This is a unique chance to give Sao Paulo’s young people:
• new opportunities;
• to obtain new experiences;
• and acquire new skills by studying in the United States.
In the big picture — this is important work because we live on what can be considered a shrinking planet. Because of technology — we are more connected than ever before. The students of Sao Paulo can communicate with their peers in America, in Asia, and across the world quicker and more frequently than previous generations.
So in this new, connected world — it’s critical that young people have a worldly view:
• on the economy;
• on diplomacy;
• and on a wide-range of issues.
That’s why it’s in the interests of both the United States and Brazil to be firmly committed to learning from each other … and with each other.
I commend both President Obama and President Rousseff for recognizing this. Through efforts like President Obama’s “100,000 Strong in the Americas” program and President Rousseff’s “Science without Borders” initiative, they’ve made an incredible commitment to increasing the student exchanges between our two countries. As these efforts show — the U.S. – Brazil partnership of the future won’t just be defined by the leaders at the top.
Instead — it will be defined by people at all levels … and young people will play an important part. That’s because the students of today will be the economic and diplomatic leaders of tomorrow. All they need is a fair opportunity to make the most of their natural talent.
I’m proud to be here today with 66 U.S. colleges and universities to help give young people from Sao Paulo this opportunity.
These institutions will be exhibiting today. And their messages to the students are clear:
• the college application process can be complicated … but we’ll help make it easier for you;
• come explore the different higher education options in the U.S.;
• find a program that fits with your interests and needs;
• consider all the great possibilities that exist in these first-class institutions;
• and a number of individuals stand ready today to help you pursue these possibilities.
In addition — I know that EducationUSA advisors are ready to address topics from:
• financial aid;
• to applications;
• to specialized English courses.
And the Consulate General is also ready to help you navigate through the visa process. All this is happening because in this region — and even in this room — are young people with potential to be Brazil’s:
• next great writers;
• and entrepreneurs;
• and doctors;
• and scientists;
• and government leaders
They just need an academic environment that can nourish their potential. And the United States provides an environment that does just this - educating young people both in the classroom and outside of it with people-to-people interaction. And in turn, the U.S. is enriched by Brazilian students.
Over the years — we have learned from the many Brazilian students who have studied in the U.S. We have learned about the rich Brazilian history and culture. These different perspectives have benefited our communities. They have opened our eyes and our minds on a lot of issues. So when Brazilians study in the United States — the benefits are wide and shared. History has shown this.
And today — I know that a lot of new connections will be made to build on this history. I thank you for the opportunity to say a few words at this important gathering. And I wish you all a very productive fair.