Doug Barry of ITA’s Global Knowledge Center and Senior Commercial Officer Dao Le of the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait produced the “Study in the States” video series.
Every year thousands of international students travel to America to pursue degrees at our world-class colleges and universities. In fact, educating international students represents a huge chunk of our annual service exports.
Not only do students gain valuable experience studying abroad, but they often return to the United States after graduating and bring family members and friends who help stimulate the travel and tourism industry. So, it’s no wonder then that the U.S. government works hard to recruit more students, especially because there is a lot of competition from countries that are also popular destinations for students, such as the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada.
To remain competitive, the Departments of State and Commerce teamed up with the embassy in Kuwait City to produce short video spots aimed at Kuwaiti high school students to highlight the benefits of studying abroad in America.
The videos address some common beliefs Kuwaitis have when they think about studying abroad – commonly that the process of applying for a visa is overly burdensome or that it’s difficult to fit in in the United States. The spots are designed to assure young students that these beliefs are untrue.
The videos feature Kuwaiti citizens who graduated from U.S. schools, and now enjoy rewarding careers, which they attribute to their time studying in the United States.
The first group of videos includes speakers such as a senior advisor to the Kuwait government, the regional sales manager for Microsoft, and a high school English language teacher. Some key points they discuss are that:
- The visa application process is not discriminatory.
- There are important deadlines the applicants need to adhere by.
- Americans are welcoming to foreign students and universities are accepting to the different culture these students bring with them. For example, often colleges offer prayer rooms and halal food for Muslim students
- Studying abroad in America is extremely important in creating an independent, creative, and self-assured student.
Through this program, we hope that international students will feel more comfortable applying to American study abroad programs and at the end of the day be better prepared for their quest to “Study in the States, Inshallah (if God wills it).”