Oct - Nov 2010 |  Volume # 4 , Issue # 10-11

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USEFP celebrates International Education Week (IEW) 2010 with great enthusiasm – attracts a crowd of 700 nationwide!

IEW 2010- Events at Islamabad Office:

The Islamabad Advising Team organized three events, the details of these are as follows:-

Islamabad's first IEW event was a networking high-tea for local counselors and school representatives which took place on November 8, 2010; this event was a great success featuring an intense Q&A highlighting some of the challenges that local school counselors face in promoting higher education abroad to their students. The various guest speakers present, represented a diverse set of local schools and colleges including a significant Federal Government School presence.

A similar graduate networking event was hosted by the Islamabad office on November 12, 2010. There was a strong attendance despite the work and academic commitments of this older applicant pool. American graduate school alumni were present for this event to inform students about their school and campus experiences. A visa consul was also present on behalf of the U.S. Embassy to address any visa concerns that students may have had. The two guest speakers for this event were Pakistani graduate alumni from the U.S. who spoke of their first hand experience in transitioning from the local to the U.S. academic system.

A high achiever recognition event targeting potential bachelor’s applicants to the U.S. was hosted on November 10,2010. This event featured a mini college fair with 22 American Alumni present to represent their U.S. schools; in total, 36 U.S. Colleges/Universities were represented on this day. This event was the Islamabad Office’s largest and most prominent IEW event, featuring a visit and talk by the newly appointed U.S. Ambassador’s wife, Dr. Marilyn Wyatt. The chief guest’s speech was following by two guest speakers – these young exchange program returns highlighted the positive aspects of their U.S. educational experience and encouraged the 220+ audience present to consider the U.S. for their higher education goals.


Nov, 10, A pictorial walkthrough of the stalls of various U.S. universities booths setup at USEFP, Islamabad, Office.

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IEW 2010- Events at Karachi Office

The program for educational heads and counselors held in Karachi focused on the significance of international education for local students and the importance of making useful contacts amongst colleagues with similar higher education objectives for their students. The USEFP Karachi office invited counselors, principals, and administrators for a mixer in order to encourage a local networking base and to gain insight into specific ways that USEFP could help facilitiate the needs of these contacts in order to promote higher education in the U.S. The event served as a platform for candid feedback and discussion and was followed by a lunch.

 Nov. 8, Counselors & Networking Lunch at USEFP office Karachi


The Karachi Office program for undergraduate applicants promoted the U.S. higher education system and served as an opportunity to help students make the right decision regarding their international education options, USEFP Karachi inviting high achievers nominated by local school counselors and provided these students with an opportunity to interact with the USEFP Academic Advisors and Public Affairs Officers from the US Consulate Karachi. The event was followed by a quiz, prize distribution, and high tea refreshments.

Nov. 10, Undergraduate high achievers event  at Karachi office.


The Karachi program for graduate students featured Fulbright alumni who were invited to share their experiences and expertise as U.S. higher education alumni. Graduate students and Fulbright applicants attended the event to get first hand information about higher education opportunities in the U.S. The talks and formal presentations were followed by a raffle draw, prize distribution, high tea refreshments, and a movie night featuring an inspirational film about college education in the U.S.



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IEW 2010- Events at Lahore Office:

Lahore’s counselor’s reception was an informal meet and greet with the local school and university counselors, administrators, REAC for South Asia and US Consulate Representatives. One of the special guests was Dr. Denis Taylor from Hiram College, a private liberal arts College in the United States.

Counselors tea on Nov. 8 in Khi - seen in the photograph are Kathleen Kisting Alam, REAC, Ms. Jennifer
Larsen, PAO and Professor Dennis Taylor, Hiram University. Also, visible are various school and college counselors

The reception for undergraduate students hosted by the Lahore Office started with an opening speech by Mr. Mark Hilbert (US Consulate) followed by a Q&A session, an interactive quiz activity and raffle draw. USEFP’s informational handouts were displayed for students to increase general awareness of the resources available to students and the various academic opportunities in the U.S. they may consider. High-tea refreshments were arranged in the courtyard outside the Lahore Office making for a pleasant afternoon activity on this sunny fall day. The day’s activities were followed by a movie showing on the theme of education.

Undergraduate high achievers event on Tuesday 9th November 2010 at the F.C.C College Hal, Lahore. This photograph
was taken when a question was addressed to PAO, Mr. Mark Hilbert about educational opportunities in the U.S.

The Lahore Office’s reception for graduate students featured Fulbright Alumni Dr. Ghazala Irfan from LUMS and Dr. Kamal-ud-din from F.C. College, who individually talked about their academic and cultural experiences in the United States. Mr. Mark Hilbert, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Consulate Lahore talked about the significance of International Education. The event also featured a Q&A session followed by a raffle draw. High-tea was arranged outside in the courtyard followed once again by an education themed movie showing.

 Nov 10- a graduate mixer with presentations from Fulbright Alumnae with Dr. Ghazala Irfan and
Dr. Kamal-ud-din sit in penal while PAO Mr. Mark Hilbert is presenting

IEW Events in Lahore also featured a Punjab Guidance Counselors Workshop – a one-day workshop held in the US Consulate in Lahore to offer an introduction to the various topics related to US Higher Education. Kathleen Kisting Alam (REAC South Asia) and Lubna Anwar gave presentations following by a session on student visas by a U.S. Embassy visa consular officer.


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USEFP establishes outreach centers at Mehran University, Jamshoro and NUST, Islamabad



USEFP is proud to share that it has successfully set up a fully functional outreach center at Mehran University in Jamshoro, Sindh. This center has been set up in order to promote U.S. education as well as Fulbright and other USEFP scholarship opportunities. USEFP advisors recently visited Mehran University as well as the neighboring Sindh University in order to attend the Annual Convocation 2009 held on Dec 5, 2010 for Sindh University Students. The USEFP advisors set up the new outreach center with detailed informative materials and guided our new staff member there on how to address related student questions and concerns. A visit to Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS) also proved valuable. The advising staff plans to make frequent visits to this center to facilitate regional students interested in U.S. higher education. This visit provided a great opportunity to network with higher officials from the region including SU Vice Chancellor Dr. Nazir A. Mughal, MUET Vice Chancellor Dr. A.Q. Khan Rajput, LUMHS Registrar Mr. Muhammad Saleh Rajar, senior faculty members and high achiever students (gold medal holders). Outreach sessions on a variety of topics were held by USEFP staff, which were well attended by students as well as faculty. Some of these were also covered by the local media.

Besides being an historical site, Jamshoro is the biggest educational centre in Sindh, being home of University of Sindh, Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (formerly University of Sindh Engineering College) and Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (formerly Liaquat Medical College), which produce doctors, engineers, IT professionals, journalists and other professionals every year.



USEFP advisors in front of Mehran Universitybuilding - the arrows indicate the prominent and convenient
 location of Outreach center right next the entrance of the varsity building




The Advising Department of the United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan formally inaugurated its Outreach Center at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) on 3rd November  2010. A formal ribbon cutting ceremony was conducted for which the Director of USEFP was present along with the Rector of NUST (Engr. Muhammad Asghar). USEFP Educational Advisors and additional key NUST Staff were also present at the occasion. The primary objective of the USEFP Outreach Center at NUST is to increase awareness among students about higher education opportunities in the U.S and to inform interested candidates about the free of cost services offered by USEFP for assisting students in all steps towards securing admission into U.S institutions in their field of specialization. The inauguration of the USEFP Outreach Center at NUST is the beginning of the joint efforts to empower students with information and motivation for pursuing higher studies for the development of Pakistan.

Higher officials from NUST and USEFP pose for a group photo during the inauguration ceremony at NUST Islamabad; also seen in the
picture Rector NUST, Engr. Muhammad Asghar and Acting Executive Director USEFP, Ms. Rita Akhtar




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Clarify your misconceptions about Study in USA – Listen to interactive FM 94 radio show

As a part of celebration of International education week, USEFP in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy carried out various radio shows to reach out to and educate Pakistani youth about higher education opportunities in the U.S. In one of these detailed, discussion-based radio shows, a candid discussion took place between Ms. Shazia Khan (Senior Educational Advisor and In Charge of Advising and Outreach at USEFP), Mr. Rahat Karim (Assistant Program Officer, USEFP and a U.S. Alumni for NESA Program), and Ms. Bettina Gorczynski (Counselor Officer for the Visa Section of the U.S. Embassy).

Click here to listen to the interactive radio show at FM94 aired during the International Education Week.




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Community colleges: an affordable springboard to educational success-
by Lubna Anwar , Educational Advisor, U.S. Consulate, Lahore

When I attend overseas education exhibitions in Pakistan, students say things like: “Study in the United States (US)? I would love to, but with the exchange rate, I can’t afford it,” or “I want to study in America, but don’t know if I can cope with the academic intensity of university education there.”

Luckily, the US higher education platform has several alternate avenues that lead to higher academic qualifications. Two-year community colleges are a natural springboard to the US traditional four-year universities. These two-year colleges have agreements where student’s credits transfer to a four-year programme, and the student gets a bachelor’s degree issued by the university, where they can complete their academic programme.

It is common for American students to attend a community college for two years and then transfer to a four-year institution to complete their degree. Nearly 40 per cent of all US undergraduate students attend these community colleges and alumni include people from business, education, politics, and even Hollywood actors like Tom Hanks and Clint Eastwood.

Foreign students are starting to discover this route to realise their dreams of education in the US in a more affordable and accessible way. Nearly 100,000 international students are currently enrolled at community colleges in the US and at least 40 two-year colleges have foreign student populations of 500 or more in their student bodies.

Smaller and less expensive colleges do not necessarily mean that a student is compromising on quality. Community colleges can be as intense in their scrutiny of an application as a four-year university and international students are also often required to take standardized tests as part of their application requirements.

There are benefits specific to international students too. If a student needs help with English, these colleges provide intensive English classes to get them to the level of their native-speaking classmates quickly. Other advantages include small class size and costs which are considerably less than most four-year universities. The more intimate community environment is very welcoming and local residents often host international students for American traditional holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.

International Student Offices are also vital resources in helping international students at US colleges. They help them in arranging housing, academic tutoring and other special services. In many cases, international students collectively rent an apartment near the college. They make friends from different countries and get to experience a variety of cultural perspectives. Many students find that these friendships are helpful networking tools and can connect them to good job opportunities years after graduation.

For students from Pakistan who have had little exposure to the outside world, the community college experience can be far less intimidating than a sudden arrival at a highly-competitive, top-tier traditional university. However, it is important to recognize that these are still a serious route towards achieving a quality higher education and not just a less expensive or easier way to study in the US.

As college deadlines approach this fall and students start the college planning process, community colleges are in many cases the perfect answer to the question, “How can I go to a university in the US?”

The writer is an advisor for EducationUSA and provides free guidance and counseling to Pakistani students interested in pursuing higher education in the US. She can be reached at AnwarL@state.gov

The article was published in The Express Tribune, November 21st, 2010.


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Scholarships Updates

USEFP website provides a useful resource of all sort of graduate and undergraduate scholarships offered in the U.S. Click Here to see the archival of Education USA weekly update.



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