American dream still alive and kicking
Posted on November 8, 2011
HYDERABAD: The bitter case of Tri-Valley University in the US, where many students from Andhra Pradesh landed in trouble due to its unaccredited status, is still fresh in the minds of all. Every student and parent, who visited the US Universities Fair at the Taj Krishna here on Sunday, had the incident at the back of their minds. However, that did not deter them from dreaming of higher education in the United States.
Year after year, the number of Indian students going to the US for studies is only increasing and despite a few incidents like the Tri-Valley and racial attacks, none seemed sceptical about education in the US. The US Universities fair saw 22 of the country’s universties set up stalls to guide students regarding admission process. Lin Larson, senior international specialist, office for UG admissions for the University of California, Berkely, was one of the representatives who was present at the fair. Speaking to City Express, she said she cannot but agree with the concerns of Indian students after the Tri-Valley incident.
“It was horrible, we know it and we do not want it to repeat. That is why we are here to guide the students through the admission procedure,” she explained, positive that the fair would provide enough guidance to aspiring candidates.
Tri-Valley seemed to be everybody’s reference for being at the fair. While the universities were there to clear the air, hundreds of candidates who arrived were determined to get their research right before applying to the US universities. A few parents said stray incidents would not dissuade them from sending their children to the US. Many maintained that in a vast industry like education, such unfortunate events were bound to occur. Raghunath, a businessman who was there with his son aspiring to study under-graduation in the US, said what would scare is the series of attacks on Indians that took place in Australia. “Now, that raises an issue of safety. What happened in the US is unfortunate but with proper research before sending applications, I don’t see any reason for panic,” he said. Going by the opinions of the students, it seems, despite Tri-Valley and the gloomy economic scenario, the US remains the top destination for higher education. All the students expressed the same eagerness to study in the US. Next in their list is the UK. “We all know the kind of opportunities that education in the US presents us with. We’ll have a stronger career if we graduate from there,” said a group of engineering students who took part in the fair.
The Institute of International Education (IIE) which organised the fair along with the United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) conducted a survey about the number of students looking at the US as their destination for higher education. It found that every year about 1,04,897 students from India go to the US for education. “A large chunk of them are from Andhra Pradesh,” Renuka Raja Rao, country coordinator, educational advising services, United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) said. This is the first such fair USIEF has organised in Hyderabad and the officials opine that it will prove useful in Hyderabad where a large section of the society is keen on pursuing studies in the US.
While many students who wanted to start early had come to the venue to take a look at the options available, there were a few who had come with a precise expectation from the fair. Harini, an engineering student of G Narayanamm Institute of Technology in the city, was equipped with all the research and was at the fair to get more information about the University of Berkely where she wants to study. Speaking to Express, she felt the fair was very informative and she was able to gather the information that she needed.
James R Abeshaus, vice-consul, Consulate General of the United States of America, advised aspirants to start their research about universities well in advance, from as early as 18 months before applying.
“At the Visa office, we look for a clear purpose from the student’s end about wanting to study in the US. That is one of the drawbacks in preparation that many students face. Another problem is a lot of students are disorganised when it comes to presenting their documents. Clarity in purpose along with the required documents will take the student through,” advised the vice-consul.
The fair was earlier held in Delhi where 800 students availed the opportunity. The fair will also be held in Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai.
7 Nov 2011