The United States Embassy Dhaka organised a debriefing session for those Bangladeshi students who are heading for the United States of America to pursue higher studies this Fall. The programme was conducted at the American Center on July 19, 2018. The US Ambassador Marcia Bernicat attended the session by EducationUSA. She partook by sharing her reflection and thoughts with the student attendees regarding the journey they are about to make.
According to their website, EducationUSA is a US Department of State network of over 425 international student advising centres in more than 175 countries. By providing accurate, comprehensive and current information on all accredited US higher education institutions, EducationUSA assists students applying to these universities.
Besides guiding students through the application procedure and holding informative seminars weekly, the centre also provides individual student counseling sessions by experts.
The Pre-Departure Orientation 2018 programme saw a gathering of excited faces and vibrant youths; students who await to move to a new country and take on the challenge. While the Cultural Affairs Officer was seen talking about the whole experience of moving to the USA for a higher degree and settling in, the young students paid full attention to his guidelines. Also, these undergraduate, masters and PhD pursuing students were asked questions on the USA. Those who could answer correctly were given prizes.
In her speech, the US Ambassador Marcia Bernicat mentioned that for the first time, Bangladesh ranked amongst the top 25 countries to send students to US colleges and universities. Also, Bangladesh ranks 9th in the world for the number of graduate students attending US colleges and universities.
She shared three important perspectives -- to always remember that education is a form of privilege as well as a responsibility; to be mindful that they are the cultural ambassadors of Bangladesh and should always represent the best; and to stay connected to the EducationUSA team members to receive guidance throughout the next few years as they complete their degrees.
Later on, five students studying in the USA took questions from the student attendees and spoke about their experiences-- how to cope with culture shock, developing leadership skills, managing transport facilities, dealing with different visa issues and qualifying for a job or an internship, and more.
Towards the end of this informative session, a presentation by the representative of Teach for Bangladesh helped the students achieve a perspective of the journey they were about to make.
Finally, the two and a half hour session ended with a slideshow, featuring students in the USA who sent warm welcome messages to the future Bangladesh students.