Thursday, 6 October, 2022

US higher education aspirants get valuable insights at university fair

US Embassy's involvement lends greater credibility to event

US higher education aspirants get valuable insights at university fair

The US Embassy through its EducationUSA platform, in partnership with EdPrograms, organised an exclusive US University Fair at the Renaissance Dhaka Gulshan Hotel on Friday.

This fair is part of the Fall 2022 EdTour South Asia program, an initiative of EdPrograms that gives US institutions of higher education a chance to meet prospective undergraduate and graduate students in Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan.

Officials from 17 US colleges and universities including  DePaul University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Iowa State University, New York Institute of Technology, New York University Tandon School of Engineering, Pace University, Quinnipiac University, Savannah College of Art and Design, Siena College, Stony Brook University, George Washington University, University of Delaware, University of Houston-Victoria, University of Kansas, University of Northern Iowa, University of South Dakota, and Western Kentucky University, participated and guided the US education aspirants throughout the day-long fair.

Students at the fair had opportunities to interact and speak with US university admission officials face-to-face about admission requirements and scholarship opportunities, while also receiving tips on submitting their applications properly. 

Additionally, the program also featured information sessions led by US Embassy officials and EducationUSA advisors about the F-1 student visa process and other topics related to the US higher education system.

On Friday afternoon, US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas visited the fair, and lauded the initiative of EducationUSA and EdPrograms for arranging the fair for potential students who have been looking at the United States as a destination for education.

"Although there are 17 colleges and universities participating here, there are more than 4,000 accredited colleges and universities in the United States. Bangladesh already has almost 9,000 of its students already studying in the United States which is the largest destination in the world for students to study. Undergraduate students can get great opportunities at the tremendous schools and avail all kinds of things outside of the classrooms - whether it's clubs, whether it's the student governments, whether it's sports - while at the graduate level, the students can be at the top academic programmes of the world with the top researchers, and the number one resources in the world. Altogether, the US is a great place to study."

"In addition to the 17 colleges and universities that are participating here, the US Embassy through EducationUSA offers free advice to the people who want to study in the United States. So people who can help the aspirants get through the crazy processings regarding applying, writing SOPs, tests or figuring out the payment procedures or apply for scholarships. And all of these services are free at the four centres of EducationUSA around Bangladesh," Ambassador Haas mentioned.

Representing the University of Houston-Victoria, Dr Ludmi Herath, director of the International Programs at UHV, told UNB that the Bangladeshi students can avail higher education at universities such as the UHV, based on their academic performances and also can get merit scholarships.

"At UHV, if students have GPA 2.00 on a scale of GPA 4.00, they can apply to pursue their undergraduate and graduate programmes. Each of our programmes require specific requirements, for example if someone wants to pursue our Computer Science programme then we require the accumulated GPA of the student which is 3.00 and above on a scale of GPA 4.00, or the student requires an adequate GRE score. Our test requirements are optional which means we do not need GRE or GMAT testing scores. Now if someone is looking for the Forensic Psychology programme, then we do require foundation levels and GRE testing. So testing varies or changes from programme to programme."

When UNB asked about the key challenges that Bangladeshi students need to overcome to manage scholarships, she said, "One of the key challenges for Bangladeshi students is fundings. Studying in the US is expensive, but there are multiple ways through which students can manage fundings such as the scholarships, grants, and teaching assistantship programmes. For Bangladeshi students, we do offer automatic scholarships ranging from USD 3,000, and then also students can apply for scholarships upto USD 10,000. In Texas at UHV, we are listed as the fifth most affordable university in the US, giving students from Bangladesh great opportunities to study for an affordable cost."

Till 7 pm, representatives like Dr Herath answered and guided the aspiring future students and their queries regarding the education programmes in the US. "This is certainly a great opportunity for us to learn about the micro and macro level requirements of different renowned universities under one roof, alongside the programme details, funding opportunities and other required things," Syed Abrar Hossain, a Dhaka University Department of Development Studies graduate, told UNB.

EducationUSA is the US Department of State’s network of over 425 international student advising centers in 178 countries.  The network promotes US higher education to students around the world by offering accurate, comprehensive, and current information about opportunities to study at accredited institutions in the United States. 

EducationUSA also provides services to the US higher education community to help institutional leaders meet their recruitment and campus internationalization goals.

In Bangladesh, EducationUSA advising services and reference materials are available across the country at the American Center at the US Embassy in Dhaka, the Edward M. Kennedy Center for Public Service and the Arts in Dhanmondi, and virtually in Chittagong. 

EducationUSA reference libraries and remote advising services are also accessible in collaboration with the American Corners in Khulna, Sylhet, and Rajshahi. All EducationUSA services are free of charge.