To mark International Education Week – occurring between November 14 and 18 – the U.S. Department of State collaborated with the Department of Education on a website featuring information about how U.S. students can study abroad and how international students can attend schools in the United States.
In a statement posted to the site, Janice Jacobs of the Bureau of Consular Affairs encouraged international students to investigate higher education in the United States. She stressed that U.S. consular officers around the globe have undertaken efforts to make it easier to obtain a student visa. Visa applications are prioritized to enable students to make enrollment deadlines, Jacobs stated, with applicants able to be processed up to 120 days before the start of their intended program.
Jacobs also singled out community colleges as valuable institutions for international students, given their focus on career training and English language instruction.
Addressing U.S. students studying abroad, Jacobs urged them to join the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, through which they can receive expedited help with needs such as passport replacement.
The site features statements from other public figures, such as Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, as well many diplomats and state governors. Many of these officials stressed how valuable it is to study abroad, given the increasingly global nature of the economy.
The proclamation from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was typical, stating, “In these challenging economic times, the importance of preparing citizens for engaging in a global economy is of paramount importance, and can be fostered through educational and cultural exchange.”
International Education Week also saw the release of a report from the Institute of International Education, which showed that foreign student enrollment at U.S. colleges and universities has risen 32 percent in the last decade.