On September 30, 2013, the IRC organized a “Back to School” party for Lao students who spent their summer studying English at the IRC. More than 60 students, teachers and staff attended. During the party, the students had many opportunities to practice their English with Embassy Officers including Ambassador Clune. The Ambassador spoke to the group about the importance of learning foreign languages, particularly English as it is the official language of ASEAN. Ambassador Clune also presented gifts to each of the volunteer teachers who gave their time during the summer to help run the English language courses at the IRC. After the remarks, the students got to know the new Ambassador, and talked about the upcoming school year and their plans for the future.