CHENNAI: Good afternoon everyone. I am delighted to see this eager crowd of students and their parents interested in higher education in the United States.
Education is one of the most important links between the United States and India and much of the vibrancy in our countries’ relationship today comes from the people-to-people links that Indian business leaders, academics and professionals made while studying and visiting the U.S. as students.
Our two countries share strong linkages and a history of collaboration in the field of higher education. The United States is the most favored destination for Indian students, with nearly 100,000 Indian students pursuing higher studies in the United States.
In response to strong interest among academic communities in both countries, we convened a highly successful U.S.-India Higher Education Summit in Washington D.C. in October 2011 that ultimately led to the establishment of an annual bilateral Higher Education Dialogue. The most recent of these Dialogues took place in New Delhi this past June.
We want to build on this momentum by encouraging more Indian students to go to the U.S., and bring more American students to India, and continue to build a relationship that will best position India and the U.S. to face the challenges of a globalized 21st century.
Our increasingly interdependent worlds require cooperative solutions, which can only come from a cross fertilization of ideas and thoughts. One of the ways the U.S. looks to achieve this is by welcoming students from different countries and cultures into our classrooms.
And our foreign students also find it an equally enriching experience to interact not only with our American youth but students from all over the world. India certainly has a special place in American universities, with nearly 100,000 Indian students currently in the U.S.
And with the immense talent of India’s youth, coupled with a strong foundation that the Indian education system provides, we find Indian students are thriving in American classrooms.
When you choose to study in the U.S., you are choosing much more than just a classroom education. You become part of our American fabric, immersed in the American ethos, our civil society, and you will embark on a cross disciplinary approach that is an integral part of the learning experience in the United States.
Our U.S. India Education Foundation (USIEF) advisors who are collocated in the Consulate in Chennai provide individual counselling services to help students and parents choose from over 4000 accredited higher education institutions in the U.S.
You are bound to find a school that fits your needs, whether you are looking for a small institution or a large one, an urban or rural environment or one with a specific subject matter focus. Later today, one of our Consular Officers will also hold a session about U.S. student visas.
This is a wonderful opportunity for you to get answers to your questions about the visa process, and I encourage you to attend.
I hope our American universities and colleges will have the chance to welcome you on to their campuses – not only for a great education, but also to experience the diversity of American culture and our people. I wish you the very best on your endeavors.