"One of my top priorities is to increase people-to-people contact between the two countries, and a great way to do this is of course through education," he stated during a dialogue session themed From Drill Bit to Digital Bytes: Thoughts on a stronger US-Indonesia Economic Relationship, held in the Wisma Antara building in Jakarta, Wednesday.
He believed that education could be the bridge through which the people of Indonesia and the US could exchange views and learn about each others countries.
Currently, there are about 9,000 Indonesian students studying in the US, and the number is expected to go up, he added.
Studying in the US, he continued, will allow Indonesian students to have a unique experience; at the same time, they will get to also learn about the strengths and weaknesses of the US.
"Equally important, you will teach Americans a lot about Indonesia, and I think that, from an American point of view, is as important as Indonesians learning about the US," he pointed out.
Ambassador Donovan also elaborated on several measures that his office had undertaken to encourage Indonesian students to study in the United States, which included holding education programs in major cities such as Jakarta and Surabaya.
"Representatives from a large number of American colleges, Universities and Community Colleges have come here to meet with students, and we have educational advisors throughout Indonesia, who are available to give objective advice as to which school is appropriate for certain students, and we will continue to do that," he reiterated.
Furthermore, he revealed that he has spoken in a number of Islamic Boarding Schools (Pesantren) and Universities in Indonesia, where he talked about education opportunities.
"This is just the beginning of a lot of exchanges in the future," he affirmed.
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