I always thought that I wanted to be a business major but this tour really changed my perspective. I don’t have to choose my major right away. I have the option of taking my time to figure this out in the first two years of my undergraduate degree.
Abdul Bari (Student at Beaconhouse, Hyderabad)
Brimming with excitement, Abdul Bari is among the 26 Pakistani students who just returned home after a three-week, whirlwind visit to nine different U.S. college campuses, as part of the first ever Career Pathways tour. Organized by EducationUSA at the United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP), Career Pathways is a summer immersion program to the U.S. that gives high school students in Pakistan a unique opportunity to explore potential vocations while also experiencing life as an international student.
The inaugural Pathways tour took 26 students from 11 cities in Pakistan to visit nine different colleges and universities across three Midwestern states: Iowa, Illinois and Indiana. Over a three-week period, students were invited to explore Luther College, Kirkwood Community College, University of Evansville, Northeastern Illinois University, University of Northern Iowa, Valparaiso University, Iowa State University and Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).
There are a lot more universities than the ones we have heard about in Pakistan. [And] every university is unique in its own way.
By visiting several different campuses, students were able to gain an understanding of the various field of studies (and possible future career tracks, hence, the name: Career Pathways) available to them. They also experienced first-hand what student life might be like should they choose the U.S. as their destination for higher education.
To explore a particular career track (or “pathway”), students were invited to attend a series of lectures and participate in activities related to that particular field of study, which gave them insight into what a future in that particular field might be like. For instance:
Engineering Track @ Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana
Agriculture Track @ Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa
Culinary Arts & Hospitality Track @ Kirkwood Community College
Other career tracks that were explored were computer science, the arts, business and entrepreneurship and a unique blend of liberal arts and sciences for those looking for an interdisciplinary approach to their studies. Students also took a trip to Pinebluff campground in Iowa where they spent time outdoors, hiking and truly experiencing a favorite American pastime: camping!
On the whole, those who participated in the Career Pathways Tour 2016 returned more informed about the educational options available to them in the U.S. and what a future in a particular career track might be like.
“There are a lot more universities than the ones we have heard about in Pakistan. [And] every university is unique in its own way,” said Wajahat Ali Kiani who attends Roots Millennium in Islamabad.
To learn more about #CareerPathways2016, visit: www.facebook.com/edusapakistan or email firstname.lastname@example.org for your 5 Steps to U.S. Study plan! Visit www.usefpakistan.org for more information on USEFP’s scholarship and exchange programs.