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US Ambassador Visits Harlow College

The United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Matthew Barzun, paid a visit to Harlow College recently at the invitation of Harlow MP Robert Halfon.

Mr Barzun spoke to students from the College and Sir Charles Kao UTC and held a question and answer session. Students had the opporunity to ask searching questions about US foreign policy, as well as current topics of interest such as gun control and the upcoming Presidential election. Mr Barzun was impressed by students' thoughtfullness and knowledge of current affairs.

Matthew Barzun said: "I've learned a lot from this great group of young people here at Harlow, particularly their frustrations and concerns about the US and what our two countries are doing together around the world. I also got to hear about what gives them hope and inspiration about what the US is up to.

"I'm a huge believer in the special relationship between the UK and the US. I think it's special because we need to work together but also we enjoy working together, and that combination is what makes it special. I encourage debate and like our two countries to be open and honest with each other, to try and find a common way together.

"Ambassadors come from all walks of life. The majority come from our Career and Foreign Service, so when I'm talking to American students I'm encouraging them to raise their hand and join the Foreign Service. The rest come from outside, mainly from academia, business or politics and I'm one of those.

"I asked the students today about how they are getting involved in making the changes that they want to see, politically. Are they signing petitions, volunteering or voting, because, whatever they're doing, getting involved is hugely important."

Robert Halfon said: "It was great to have the Ambassador come to Harlow to see our country-leading College, and UTC. The students he spoke with were a credit to the College and the UTC and proved what a bright future Harlow has, having young people like these students as our next generation of leaders."

Karen Spencer, Principal of Harlow College, said: "We were delighted to welcome Matthew Barzun the US Ambassador to Harlow College today as part of his Young Leaders UK outreach programme. It was a great opportunity for our students to hear first-hand about the US/UK relationship, contribute their opinions and learn from an International diplomat.

"We pride ourselves on our Citizenship programme here at Harlow College and really believe that these experiences add to our student's life experience and career opportunities."