Today nearly 100 travel, writers, influencers, and bloggers gathered in Washington, D.C. to hear the Obama administration’s goals for study abroad and cross-cultural exchange.

“White House Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship,” is a one-day event at the organized by Hosteling International and the Global Engagement Directorate division of the National Security Council to promote initiates that encourage students and educators to visit emerging markets in Asia and Africa. It is being held at the Executive Office Building (next door to the White House) and the National Press Club.

“[The White House] is making a big push for students to study in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia,” Shannon Green, the National Security Council’s senior director for global engagement, told Skift. “We’re really going to try to make the economic case for studying in these countries, because companies these days need people who have the international exposure. There are countries who have invested and who want to invest in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, and they’re looking for students who have experience in these regions.”

Hostelling International CEO Russ Hedge wrote earlier this week that the event would “be a big step towards conveying the transformative power of travel to the public and encouraging young adults to explore other places and cultures and become better global citizens.”

The line-up of speakers for the day includes Penny Pritzker, Secretary of Commerce, Department of Commerce (whose family also owns the Hyatt Hotel chain), Samantha Brown and Don Wildman from the Travel Channel, and National Geographic Digital Nomad Robert Reid.

The travel writers and bloggers gathered in D.C. began tweeting and blogging about the event as soon as the invitations began arriving, and carried on through a pre-party (above) organized by the Travel Massive networking group the evening before the event.

Photo Credit: A pre-party for the summit at the Poste Moderne Brasserie in the Hotel Monaco. Kimpton in DC / Instagram