Posts Tagged ‘education mission’

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Leading 29 Colleges and Universities to Southeast Asia

November 18, 2013

Melissa Branzburg is an International Trade Specialist at the Export Assistance Center in Boston, Mass.

John McGinnis of Birmingham Southern College speaks to high school students in Kuala Lumpur during a Department of Commerce education trade mission in Southeast Asia.

John McGinnis of Birmingham Southern College speaks to high school students in Kuala Lumpur during a Department of Commerce education trade mission in Southeast Asia.

I had the chance to recruit and bring representatives from 29 higher education institutions to Southeast Asia in October, along with my teammate David Edmiston from Minneapolis. This was the fifth education-focused trade mission led by the U.S. Department of Commerce in the last three years.

Missions like these help support a key U.S. export sector. Education exports in 2012 totaled nearly $23 billion. A recent study shows a record number of students are now studying in the United States, so that number could grow even higher in 2013.

This particular mission was by far one of the best projects of my Commerce career. Our goal was to help U.S. schools recruit students from these countries to study here. The delegation included a wide variety of institutions, from the largest state universities to small liberal arts schools and community colleges. It was definitely a showcase of all that America’s higher education system has to offer!

We surpassed our attendance goals for the mission, more than doubling the number of students coming to meet these school representatives than we had expected. Also, part of the program included sessions with the State Department’s EducationUSA advisors and the foreign ministries of education to help us better understand the students. To give the students a leg up, the consular sections held seminars on the ins and outs of getting that ever-important American visa.

But beyond the programming, it was a chance to help amazing students explore their choices that made the experience truly unforgettable.

Carolyn Lanier at Western Connecticut State University later said to us:

“I just wanted to let you know how great the education trade mission to Manila and KL was! Thank you for organizing such a well thought-out trip. We had an amazing time! We learned so much about not only international education programs, but also about our university and what we need to do to offer competitive programs that will be of interest to students in the Philippines and Malaysia. Your efforts in this endeavor were (and continue to be) greatly appreciated!”

Our embassies and consulates around the world are celebrating International Education Week. Our trade mission was just a small part of all that is going on to support international students finding their way to the United States.

Best of luck to all the students we met with on this mission. I hope to see many of you studying here soon!

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Day 3 — Education Symposium and Matchmaking in Jakarta

April 4, 2011

Amanda Lawrence is an intern working with the U.S. Commercial Service to support the Education Mission to Indonesia and Vietnam.

This morning, mission participants attended a Symposium on US-Indonesian Higher Education Partnership & Exchange at the Sampoerna Strategic Square. U.S. and Indonesian government officials discussed the importance of educational ties and improving bilateral education partnerships. Education sector executives who were also present spoke on the current industry climate.

After the symposium, the mission participants also attended several breakout sessions depending on their interests. U.S. Commercial service staff arranged one-on-one matchmaking sessions for many schools interested in meeting student recruitment agencies.  School representatives also had an opportunity to meet with local universities and explore partnership prospects.  Lastly, several school representatives visited local high schools and met with administrators, counselors, teachers, and students.

Ambassador Marciel hosted the participants at his residence for a farewell reception this evening. Many of the representatives were thrilled with the day’s events and the reception. “The US Ambassadors reception was a great event as shows the commitment  the US government has to welcome Indonesian students to study in  the USA,” said Joseph Indrawan of the University of Buffalo.  John Lorentz of Shawnee State University agreed, “a productive mission that will lead to increased educational connections between the US and Indonesia, a mission crowned with a superb reception at the US  Ambassadors residence.”

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Day 2 — Education Mission, Education Fair in Jakarta

April 3, 2011

Amanda Lawrence is an intern working with the U.S. Commercial Service to support the Education Mission to Indonesia and Vietnam.

Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sanchez rings the gong to open the Education Fair hosted by The Putera Sampoerna Foundation.

Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sanchez rings the gong to open the Education Fair hosted by The Putera Sampoerna Foundation. (Commerce Dept. Photo)

We spent all day at the Education Fair at Sampoerna Strategic Square in Jakarta. Each school exhibited at the fair and met students and their parents. There were 56 exhibitors and approximately 6,000 students and more than 10,000 attendees including parents attending the fair.

Many of the representatives from the schools participating in the mission have many things to say about the experience, such as “I’ve never seen an education fair so well-organized,” said Murat Tas of University of Incarnate Word. “This is really the best!” and “I was very impressed with the students — they were very articulate and asked all the right questions,” said Jayati Ghosh of Dominican University of California.

Attendance was larger than expected and Marcos Fragoso of the University of Incarnate Word said “Attendance at the fair was really really good, and the quality of the student was excellent.”

And James Reidel of University of Pennsylvania said “This mission is an excellent use of our taxpayer dollars and I’m so pleased to be part of it!”

Overall, the first education fair was a great success!

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