The Embassy has partnered with YAxis Foundation to provide free advisory service to students that will help them avoid frauds, writes Dipal Gala

Most Indian students apply to about 400 US universities, and there are thousands more who would appreciate having Indian students add to their diversity, said Karl Adam, Deputy Cultural Affairs Officer, the US Embassy in an exclusive interview with the Education Times. “Every year we see more and more Indians choosing to go to the US for higher education. Almost 200,000 students attended US universities last year.”

“Hyderabad has so many students coming to the US, it is among the top student visa centres in the world, across all of our diplomatic missions. That will continue and we want to be sure students get the right guidance from trained advisors.” Describing the multi-pronged engagement, he said.

“We engage with students on Facebook, our Consulates and Embassy in June will be launching a new app which will be guiding students for international education as an official source of information. We are excited to announce a new collaboration with YAxis Foundation in India, which is a pilot project designed to help Indian students get the right information and avoid scams and frauds.”

Explaining the kind of assistance extended, he said, “We are not filling out their applications. When a consular officer asks a student ‘How are you going to pay for the studies’, the students would have discussed these aspects with their advisor and are on sure footing about how to answer.”

The advisory will help the student get the right fit for what he/ she aspires. He added, that the US has over 4700 institutions of higher education and each university is different. “This advisory would be given in the best interest of the students. It will also inform students about scholarships available to them. This is a pilot programme and we are looking forward to students and parents using the service.” There are a million international students in the US, and most of them, about 70%, go to 300- 400 schools. “There are thousands more really good schools who are so hungry for the kind of education Indian students bring with them.”

This advisory programme will highlight lesser known aspects of the US education network. For instance, he said, a programme called ‘2+2’, wherein a student attends a Community college and gets the same level of instruction as a four-year university degree, and earns an associate’s degree. After graduation, one can continue their education in the best of institutions, and all this is at a fraction of the cost.