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President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, wave as they board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Friday, May 19, 2017, prior to his departure on his first overseas trip. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Melania Trump's breadth of international experience could sow seeds of diplomacy abroad


Fashion model-turned First Lady Melania Trump has mostly stayed out of the media spotlight, making a few obligatory White House appearances and conducting only a handful of one-on-one interviews. However, President Trump's first foreign trip, in which he will travel to Saudi Arabia, Italy, Brussels, and Israel throughout the next eight days, creates an opportunity for Mrs. Trump to act as a diplomatic catalyst on an international stage for the first time. 

"I am very excited for the upcoming trip," the first lady said in a prepared statement before the trip.

She added, "This will not just be an opportunity to support my husband as he works on important matters of national security and foreign relations, it will also be my honor to visit and speak with women and children from different countries, with different perspectives." 

The first lady is not only expected to participate in events alongside her husband, but she'll also spearhead a few of her own. According to a preliminary White House itinerary, Mrs. Trump will attend spousal programs at the NATO and G-7 summits and will end the trip by delivering remarks to U.S. military personnel and families in Italy. 

Melania Trump's breadth of international experience could sow seeds of diplomacy abroad

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But it's likely that FLOTUS' experience living on foreign soil will aid her greatly throughout the international trip. What makes Mrs. Trump different from past first ladies is that she was born and raised in Slovenia. She's also resided in Paris, France and Milan, Italy, before relocating to New York, CNN noted. 

Anita McBride, former chief of staff to first lady Laura Bush, noted the ways in which Mrs. Trump's foreign experiences are likely to connect her on a deeper level.

"This comes naturally to her -- she speaks other languages, and anybody that speaks other languages has a different cultural sensitivity and ability to adapt rather quickly in an environment when you're on foreign soil. She has shown that at home, that has given her a real leg up as a new first lady," McBride said.

Besides her breadth of international travel, Mrs. Trump boasts the skills necessary to success. She speaks four languages besides her native Slovenian, including English, French, Serbian and German.

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