Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas proposed using proceeds from the sale of war surplus materials to fund programs to improve mutual understanding between the U.S. and the rest of the world through personnel exchanges and international education. A precursor to these exchanges began in Latin America in 1939 and were expanded after World War II to encourage business activity, international travel, and the training of foreign nationals in U.S. institutions of higher learning. After the passage of the Fulbright-Hays Act, The Carnegie and Rockefeller Foundations contributed funds to get exchange program running and the 1948 U.S. Information and Educational Exchange Act (Smith-Mundt Act) facilitated funding throughout the world. The first cultural exchanges involved representatives from China, Burma, and the Philippines.
SEC. 2. The Congress hereby declares that the objectives of this Act are to enable the Government of the United States to promote a better understanding of the United States in other countries, and to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Among the means to be used in achieving these objectives are-
(1) an information service to disseminate abroad information about the United States . . . .
(2) an educational exchange service to cooperate with other nations in–
(a) the interchange of persons, knowledge, and skills;
(b) the rendering of technical and other services;
(c) the interchange of developments in the field of education, the arts, and sciences.
SEC. 3. In carrying out the objectives of this Act, information concerning the participation of the United States in the United Nations, its organizations and functions, shall be emphasized . . . .
TITLE II-INTERCHANGE OF PERSONS, KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS PERSONS
SEC. 201. The Secretary is authorized to provide for interchanges on a reciprocal basis between the United States and other countries of students, trainees, teachers, guest instructors, professors, and leaders in fields of specialized knowledge or skill and shall wherever possible provide these interchanges by using the services of existing reputable agencies which are successfully engaged in such activity. The Secretary may provide for orientation courses and other appropriate services for such persons from other countries upon their arrival in the United States, and for such persons going to other countries from the United States. When any country fails or refuses to cooperate in such program on a basis of reciprocity the Secretary shall terminate or limit such program, with respect to such country, to the extent he deems to be advisable in the interests of the United States. The persons specified in this section shall be admitted as nonimmigrant visitors . . . for such time and under such conditions as may be prescribed by regulations promulgated by the Secretary of State and the Attorney General. A person admitted under this section who fails to maintain the status under which he was admitted or who fails to depart from the United States at the expiration of the time for which he was admitted, or who engages in activities of a political nature detrimental to the interests of the United States, or in activities not consistent with the security of the United States, shall, upon the warrant of the Attorney General, be taken into custody and promptly deported . . . .