US-Pak Education Commitment Unshakeable, says US Cultural Attache

USEFP_July24-2015US Embassy’s Cultural Attaché, Judith Ravin, has urged the Pakistani students to avail the opportunities for U.S. higher education, being offered by the United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP), saying that student exchange programs play pivotal role to promote understanding and bilateral relations between the people of two countries.

She was exchanging views as Chief Guest during the pre-departure orientation, hosted by the USEFP, in honor of 80 Pakistani students who will begin their graduate and undergraduate programs in the United States this fall.

“The United States is a large and diverse country with people from across the world living in every imaginable geographic location and climate, but nearly all Americans share some traits as part of a general culture that you should be aware of,” she spoke to Pakistani students attending the orientation.

Terming the United States’ commitment to Pakistani educational exchange programs long-lasting and unshakeable, the Cultural Attaché said that U.S. universities warmly welcome talented Pakistani youth with various intellectual abilities, and from multicultural and diverse socio-economic backgrounds. She further said that Americans tend to be independent, practical and work-oriented, and strongly believe in the concept of individualism, hoping that meeting different people and making friends would be an everlasting experience for the Pakistani students during their stay in the United States.

Earlier, USEFP Executive Director, Rita Akhtar, in her welcoming remarks, spoke of U.S. university classrooms as a reflection of the country’s rich diversity, saying that so far USEFP has helped over 5,000 Pakistani students to achieve the dreams of U.S. higher education through different scholarship programs and free advising services.

According to the latest statistics, currently there are nearly 11,000 Pakistani students studying in the United States while the number of Pakistanis beginning their studies in the United States this year has increased by 3.4% since 2012-13, she said, while terming this a good sign for fostering educational ties between the two countries.

On the occasion, EducationUSA Pakistan’s Country Coordinator, Umair Khan, has also offered tips to the students, which included travel documentation, campus life, academics, U.S. society and culture. “Similar orientation sessions will be held in Lahore and Karachi for a total of 180 students on self-funded and scholarship programs throughout the United States,” he said.

In a follow-up panel discussion and question-and-answer session the audience asked about topics ranging from food options to security concerns in the United States. Students also mingled with USEFP advisers, U.S. Embassy officials and alumni over tea and refreshments.

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