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It’s not every day that you get to go to the White House, especially to discuss and engage on international policy issues; but this week, that privilege was reality for nearly 100 bloggers, writers, producers and educators from the travel space. The gathering, tagged aptly online as a summit for #WHTravelBloggers, was a full day of exploration and discussion about the benefits of cross-cultural educational and cultural exchange and boosting international student travel and study abroad.

From the start of the day, it was clear this was going to be an interactive experience rather than a typical one sided summit where experts speak at you from a stage. A lively breakfast on the top floor of the W Hotel (formerly the historic Hotel Washington) kicked off the melding of minds and thoughts. Participants were encouraged to…participate, sharing anecdotes and photos and every detail of the day on social media. Naturally, this gathering of digital media folks would have been hard to keep off of the internet; every last one vested in communicating and sharing experiences with people near and far for the collective benefit, and that spirit was necessary to tackle the international issues at hand. Each tagged post additionally became part of a growing mosaic highlighting top tweets about the day’s activities.