Speaking to hundreds of students of Daar el-Qolam Islamic boarding school, Tangerang, Banten, on Monday, Donovan said that both nations unfortunately lacked sufficient historical people-to-people relations across generations.
He explained that Indonesia and the US have so much in common as diverse nations whose tolerance and respect are the sources of strength and inspiration.
"In America, these values had been questioned from time to time; but like Indonesia, I am confident that they will always prevail," he noted.
Donovan previously discussed the positive impression of foreign students in the US, while speaking to groups of Indonesian students who just returned after their study in the US.
The advantage of studying overseas is to get new experiences. Such unique experiences might not always be good, because as in many parts of the world, there are also some intolerant people who have negative attitudes, he added.
Donovan was also impressed by the efforts taken by the students to help American students get a better knowledge of Indonesia.
"I believe they taught the beauty and tolerance of our country to their American friends. Hopefully, they will encourage more American students to come to Indonesia," former Managing Director of the Washington Office of the American Institute in Taiwan stated.
According to Donovan, the US Embassy in Indonesia has been working hard to increase the number of Indonesian students studying in US universities, community colleges and high schools.
After having achieved success with almost 7 percent growth in the number of Indonesian students studying in US last year, the embassy will continue to encourage more Indonesians to pursue their study in US by holding the upcoming education fairs in Jakarta, Surabaya and Medan.
Donovan suggested that Indonesians who are interested to pursue their studies in the US should not only consider the university or colleges location, size, and focus of the study but also get the right combination offered by the university that really meets the students need.(*)