ISLAMABAD: Students from seven schools in Islamabad and Rawalpindi had a one-on-one session with representatives of 14 American universities on Wednesday.
About 75 students from seven schools — Roots, Westminster, Lahore Grammar School, City School, Beaconhouse, and Islamabad Model College for Boys and Islamabad Model College for Girls — attended the 11th annual International Education Week.
Each of the 14 universities had set up a stall at the event to give students information about the universities, the academic programmes on offer and scholarship opportunities. Another booth was manned by visa officers from the US Embassy to answer students’ queries had about visas.
Visa officials emphasised that America was eager and open to admitting international students from South Asia, particularly Pakistan.
Dr Marilyn Wyatt, wife of Cameron Munter, the US Ambassador to Pakistan, was the chief guest of the ceremony and spoke to the high school students about the benefits of American higher education.
Wyatt said, “During the Cairo address to the Muslim world, President Obama said that the US would expand exchange programs and increase scholarships with the Muslim world. I’m proud to say that Pakistan has the largest Fulbright programme in the world, sending over 200 Pakistani on educational and professional exchange programs to the US.”
Dr Wyatt highlighted the freedom of intellectual inquiry, political debate and open religious and artistic expression that schools in US offer to their students.
More than 670,000 students from 190 countries were admitted to US campuses in 2009, Wyatt said. The large number of foreign students in American universities helps foster friendships between citizens of different countries and helps create an environment to promote understanding between people from different cultural backgrounds, she said.
The event was organised by United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP) and was a joint initiative between the US Department of State and the US Department of Education.
The USEFP event is also taking place simultaneously in Lahore and Karachi to mark the International Education Week in Pakistan. These events also include networking sessions with educational counsellors of various leading private and government schools, undergraduate-focused events such as college fairs and graduate counselling sessions.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 11th, 2010.