Syed Abrar Hossain recently graduated from the University of Dhaka majoring in Development Studies. Now he desires to go abroad for higher studies and his preferred destination is the US. However, he has been finding it difficult to navigate this long and arduous process.
Visiting this year's US University Fair and consulting with university representatives, he felt more confident about the whole process.
"Without any doubt, the education fair is an excellent opportunity to learn about US universities. I'm targeting next fall session and they are providing even minute details of the US education system," Abrar said.
He added, "Prospective students can get to know all the micro and macro level requirements of the well-known US universities and that too all under just one roof. In addition to graduate programme details, advice regarding scholarships, visas and other requirements, etc are also available from EducationUSA."
EducationUSA is a body of international student consultancy centres run by the US Department of State. Founded in 1988, the platform operates in 175 countries through 425 advising centres.
This year the US Embassy in Bangladesh organised the US University Fair through this platform in collaboration with EdPrograms. The fair – a part of the Fall 2022 EdTour South Asia Program – took place in the Renaissance Hotel in Dhaka last Friday.
Representatives from 17 colleges and universities were present at the fair and provided guidance to the visiting students throughout the day. Students who attended the fair were allowed to talk to the admission representative from these universities.
In addition, the programme included sessions by officials from the US Embassy and consultants from EducationUSA. These sessions covered the process of obtaining an F-1 student visa as well as other issues relating to the US higher education system.
"Some of the challenges that the Bangladeshi students face is the sheer number of fantastic colleges and universities throughout the US," said Lewis Cardenas, the Regional Educational Advising Coordinator for South Asia. "Some countries have between 20-500 universities, while the US has more than 4,000 universities. Sometimes, it's a bit overwhelming trying to find out where to pursue your studies. And that's why EducationUSA comes to help."
"The EducationUSA provides free service to all students. We have two centres in Dhaka – the EMK centre, American Centre at the US Embassy. Both these centres provide free and unbiased information for students. They just have to register and they will have access to lots of information on how to get started, how to write essays, how to write a recommendation, funding opportunities, etc. We have a phenomenal team, who are eager to assist you on all platforms," he added.
At the programme, Peter D Hass, the US Ambassador to Bangladesh, was also present. He praised EducationUSA for the arrangement of the fair.
He visited on Friday afternoon 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.
"Alongside the 17 universities that are present here today, the US Embassy through EducationUSA offers free advice to the students who seek to study in the United States. The platform can help aspirant students get through the crazy processes of applying, writing essays, giving standardised tests, figuring out the payment procedures or applying for funding. And all of these services are free at the centres of EducationUSA around Bangladesh," Ambassador Haas stated.