celebrates International Education Week (IEW) 2010 with
great enthusiasm – attracts a crowd of 700 nationwide!
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.
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.
Counselors & Networking Lunch at USEFP office 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
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
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
was taken when a question was addressed to PAO, Mr. Mark
Hilbert about educational opportunities in the U.S.
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.
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
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
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.
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your misconceptions about Study in USA – Listen to interactive FM 94
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
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colleges: an affordable springboard to educational
success-by Lubna Anwar ,
Educational Advisor, U.S.
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
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
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
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
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USEFP website provides a useful resource of all sort of
graduate and undergraduate scholarships offered in the
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