EducationUSA Fair opens doors to Filipino students
MANILA, Philippines – If you are dreaming of pursuing studies in the United States, look no further. The US Embassy in Manila is again holding the EducationUSA Fair to serve as a bridge between Filipino students and US-based educational institutions.
For its fourth installment in the Philippines, EducationUSA Fair will have two legs — in Cebu on Feb. 28, and in Manila on March 1.
“This free event will provide an opportunity for students, administrators, and parents to interact with more than 30 admissions officers from a wide variety of US schools and colleges,” said Matt Keener, the embassy’s cultural affairs officer.
Guidance counselors and other interested administrators, staff, and teachers, are also invited to the fair, which will offer participants information on the college application process, financial aid and scholarships, and securing a student visa.
Among the participating institutions are the California State University (Long Beach), Columbia College Chicago, DePaul University, Hawaii Pacific College, Johnson and Wales University, Miami University, Minnesota State University (Mankato), Savannah College of Arts and Design, Seattle University, Southern New Hampshire University, Stony Brook University-The State University of New York, The University of Texas at Arlington, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Kansas, and University of Kentucky.
Keener said, “For two consecutive years, the number of Filipinos studying in the United States has grown and is outpacing most of the countries in the world.” Last academic year, 3,225 Filipino students pursued their studies in the US, he added.
For Keener, Filipinos are the best candidates for studying in the US because more than 100 million of the population speak English, half of whom are below 24 years of age.
Christine Grace Catindig, cultural affairs specialist at the embassy, told the Inquirer that the US government holds the annual event “to promote access to information on US higher education so Filipinos can find the best-fit university for them.”
Similar events are held in more than 170 countries, and the one in the Philippines is part of a bigger Southeast Asian tour which started in Myanmar on Feb. 19, and will end in Singapore on March 9.
The fair is open not only to those who are planning to pursue college in the US, but even to those who are interested in earning post-graduate degrees.
“Applying to colleges can be intimidating and challenging without the right information and resources, so we hope that the fair will motivate Filipinos to apply to the US universities that will best meet their needs and empower them to work on their applications strategically with the help of visiting admissions representatives, who have a big say in the college admissions process,” Catindig said.
She also said the participants may find the fair fun and informative, where diverse opportunities for studying abroad may be explored.
Catindig said workshops and sessions will also be conducted in a program space at the fair.
Bucks Community College will facilitate the talk “Exploring College Options: Community Colleges and Transfer Opportunities,” while Fulbright Philippines will discuss its programs.
The University of Texas at Arlington will conduct a session on acing college applications, while Highline College will discuss academic and fee flexibility in community colleges.
The British Council-IELTS will hold a session tackling tips for reviewing and taking the IELTS test.
Catindig added: “We are also teaming up with VR Philippines to put up a virtual reality booth where students and parents can actually see what each US university at our fair looks like.”
For the past three years, the EducationUSA team in Manila has been holding the fair in the nation’s capital because it has the largest population density in the country. The Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education in Manila have also helped promote awareness of educational opportunities in the US.
The team also chose to hold a similar event in Cebu last year, and will continue to mount the fair there this year because “it has the second largest population of prospective international students in the Philippines,” Catindig explained.
“People from the Visayas region and some areas in Mindanao can also conveniently travel to Cebu to attend our fair,” she added.
More than 1,000 participants are expected to join both legs of the fair.
“Hopefully, our participants have followed our EdUSA advisers’ advice and will do their research and prepare their best questions to seek information and answers that are not normally accessible online,” Catindig said. /cbb