Mumbai students gather to explore options for higher education abroad at EducationUSA Fair.

August 27th 2023.

Mumbai students gather to explore options for higher education abroad at EducationUSA Fair.
Mumbai recently saw the EducationUSA fair organised at a city hotel on August 27th, which saw an overwhelming response from students looking to quench their thirst of queries and explore higher education opportunities beyond India's borders. Over 615 students registered for the event, which featured in-person discussions with university representatives, EducationUSA advisers, and U.S. Consulate visa officials.

Bishal Roy, a ninth-grade student from BD Memorial International School, was one of the attendees. He spoke to the Free Press Journal about his experience, saying that he had visited the School of Visual Arts in New York City and the University of Arizona. He was interested in learning more about scholarships, English language requirements, visa applications, and availability of funding.

Among the 40 universities present at the event were the University of Houston, the University of Utah, the University of Arizona, Columbia University, and Berkeley College. They offered a range of academic programmes across undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. Rob Anderson, the Public Engagement Unit Chief at the US Consulate General, Mumbai, remarked that this was the season where students showed a lot of interest and a real hunger for in-person engagement, which is why they had planned this massive eight-city tour of India.

Visitors to the EducationUSA fair enquired about the nitty-gritty of pursuing higher education in the US, and Anderson revealed that the US State Department had issued approximately 125,000 student visas to Indian students in FY2022, with the goal of helping 500,000 students find the right fit over the next three years. He noted that most of these students came from Maharashtra and Gujarat, with a large number of Gujarati students having relatives in the US.

When asked about the recent deportation of 21 Indian students from the US port of entry due to visa-related concerns, Anderson clarified that it was not a biased decision, but rather due to the procedures of the US system. He also discussed the growing popularity of the U.S.-India educational partnerships, and the importance of offline events such as this fair in helping students and parents make informed choices about U.S. higher education options.

Among the attendees were not only school and college students, but also working professionals who came to enquire about PhD courses. As the event progressed, there seemed to be an increased demand for STEM courses, with the advisor for international recruitment at Berkeley College in New York, Greg Barattini, stating that computer science, engineering, business analytics, and finance were especially popular. Barattini also noted the improved quality of students over the past two decades.

Parents who accompanied their children to the fair shared their appreciation for the event, with Minti Shah, the mother of a graduate student, saying that the US was the best option for job prospects and quality courses. Meanwhile, Frederick Sloane, an alumnus of Cornell University, spoke about the importance of developing skills and pursuing an interdisciplinary approach to studies.

The EducationUSA fair was a great opportunity for students and working professionals to get a better understanding of the US higher education system and the various opportunities available to them. With universities offering flexible curriculums and the US State Department targeting 500,000 Indian students by 2026, it's no surprise that this event was so well-received.

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