Some of you are already familiar with the network of Department of State-affiliated educational advising centers and may have contacted them for any number of reasons, from recruiting tips to understanding foreign educational systems to translations of foreign credentials. For those of you who are not so familiar with EducationUSA, however, I am more than pleased to provide you with more information about the EducationUSA advising network and tips on partnering with overseas educational advisers. Please find below a list of frequently-asked questions about EducationUSA.
What is EducationUSA?
The Educational and Cultural Affairs Bureau of the U.S. Department of State
(ECA) supports a network of more than 450 educational advising centers around the world whose mission is to promote U.S. higher education to prospective international students. The educational advisers who work at these centers rely on their Regional Educational Advising Coordinator (REAC) to provide training and expertise in advising on U.S. higher education. REACs also act as the liaison between the educational advisers and ECA/A/S/A.
Information about EducationUSA is available on the Internet at: http://exchanges.state.gov/globalexchanges/index/educationusa.html
(Note: We are currently working on this site, so please bookmark and check back soon for updated information.)
For a complete listing of EducationUSA centers and the services they provide, please see the EducationUSA Find an Advising Center Map: http://www.educationusa.info/centers.php
Who are EducationUSA Advisers?
EducationUSA Advising Centers are staffed by professional advisers, many of whom have studied in the United States and/or received State Department-approved training about U.S. higher education and the advising process.
Where are EducationUSA Advising Centers located?
EducationUSA Advising Centers are located in U.S. Embassies and Consulates, Fulbright Commissions, bi-national centers, non-governmental organizations, libraries, and universities.
What does EducationUSA Advising entail?
Advisers provide impartial, accurate information about the full range of accredited institutions of higher learning in the United States. They provide students with information to identify the best option for their educational and professional interests, choosing an institution, identifying financial aid opportunities, understanding the admission process, and applying for a student visa. Some centers also can provide specialized services such as essay writing workshops, translation and document verification, and pre-departure preparation. They do not serve as agents or recruiters.
How can EducationUSA help U.S. colleges and universities?
EducationUSA Advisers serve as valuable resources to U.S. admissions personnel and foreign student advisers. Not only do advisers provide information to prospective international students, but they can also help answer your questions about recruiting opportunities, financial aid and scholarships, student mobility trends, local educational system, and much more!
How can my institution partner with EducationUSA?
EducationUSA Advisers and REACs are available to assist you in identifying and recruiting prospective international students. E-mail is the easiest way to communicate with Advisers and REACs. To find a list of the EducationUSA Advisers and REACs, please visit: http://exchanges.state.gov/globalexchanges/index/educationusa.html
Advisers are always eager to share information about your accredited institution by hosting your college catalog, CD-Rom, videos, and especially any information about financial aid or scholarship opportunities available to international students. If you have the opportunity to travel, be sure to contact the Adviser in advance to arrange a meeting and join in on a group advising orientation. Perhaps you can coordinate your travel times to participate in a college fair or a special event at the advising center. If you cannot manage to fit travel into your budget, be sure to send contact information of local alumni that may be able to represent your college or university and participate in special events. It is also very useful for advisers to have information about the international students on your campus and the resources and services available to them.
Finally, be sure that your prospective international students are aware of these resources available in their country. EducationUSA Advisers can orient your prospective students in preparing for the student visa interview, identifying additional sources of financial aid, and academic and cultural pre-departure preparation. ECA/A/S/A encourages all accredited U.S. colleges and universities to host the EducationUSA link on website. A former overseas educational adviser now working at the U. of South Florida has posted the EducationUSA logo along with a short statement encouraging prospective students to visit the closest EducationUSA advising center for more information. You may wish to take a look at what she has done:
To request permission to use the EducationUSA logo on your institution's website, please send a message to Marty Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I help EducationUSA Advisers?
EducationUSA Advisers have many opportunities for professional development programs, which include participation in international education conferences, such as NAFSA, AACRAO, CIS, NAGAP, NACAC, and OACAC. Usually, advisers offer presentations on the EducationUSA Advising Network and specific information about the educational system in their country. In addition to these conferences, each REAC organizes a tri-annual conference especially for advisers within their region. This is another great opportunity for U.S. college and university representatives to meet with Educational Advisers and train them in your area of expertise. U.S. colleges and universities are also encouraged to participate as Campus Hosts for advisers participating in other adviser training programs so that they may learn about your institution first-hand. For more information on these programs, please visit the Bureau website at: http://exchanges.state.gov/globalexchanges/index/educationusa.html