Despite our problems, we in North America are blessed with strong and vibrant intellectual institutions. Particularly in mathematics and the physical sciences, we are flush with good fortune. But success can become a breeding ground for complacency and tunnel vision; there are other countries and communities that have created powerful and successful mathematical and scientific institutions using vastly different formulas than have we. It is in our interests as scientists and educators to find, understand and connect with such communities. This is not so simple as collecting textbooks or hiring faculty. Rather we must understand deeply what makes these scientific communities work, and then adapt that information to improve our own institutions. Robust international programs in science and mathematics, programs that are discipline based and intellectually rigorous, programs that attract our best and our brightest can serve this role.