The government of the United States of America (US) is committed to continue maintaining good relations with Indonesia (RI) in the long term, by prioritizing people ties of both countries. A concrete step is through education programs, by encouraging Indonesian students to study in the US. US Deputy Ambassador to Indonesia Bryan McFeeters stated community relations/ties of both countries are a priority.
He said inter-community ties are the key priority in the bilateral relations program between Indonesia and the United States, and the departure of Indonesian students to study in the United States could strengthen the relationship. He pointed out, if we send a 22 year old student, he/she would be able to go home bringing pleasant impressions and memories of America, and could also make eternal international connections with the people there.
Not only that, Deputy Ambassador McFeeters said that the role of Indonesian students there does not stop at the pursuit of knowledge alone, instead they are as ambassadors of their own country who could provide interesting information on Indonesia to the local citizens there. According to McFeeters, the US considers Indonesian citizens there as ambassadors, because they would be able to explain the various kinds of cultures, tolerance towards different religions, the values of democracy and also freedom of opinion. These are considered important to Deputy Ambassador McFeeters because according to him, Americans still have very limited information about Indonesia.
Currently, there are approximately 8,500 Indonesian students studying in various states across the United States.