Owing to its popularity and influence, the biannual South Asia Tour organized by EducationUSA is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year. In each tour the scale of the activities and the audience increases, reflecting the growing interest in U.S. higher education in Pakistan. In Fall 2017, the 11th South Asia Tour welcomed 17 representatives from U.S. universities and colleges who travelled to Karachi, Islamabad, and Lahore, where they engaged with over 4,000 students across Pakistan.
The week-long tour was focused on promoting U.S. higher education among Pakistani students through school visits, university outreaches, in-house sessions, college fairs, and the ever-popular High School Counselors’ Academy. Sessions catering to high school students, their parents, and counselors were organized to help them understand and navigate the application and enrollment processes at U.S. higher education institutions.
Pakistani students enrolled in U.S. universities and colleges not only enrich the cultural landscape of the institution but also add value because of their academic excellence. “For some of the Pakistani students, this was their first opportunity to meet in person with a U.S. university representative and to discuss their study plans,” said Kathryn Crockart, the Minister Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy. She encouraged Pakistani parents and students to consider the opportunities a U.S. education has to offer, saying that, “The United States has more than 4,700 institutions of higher education. There are universities to fit every career goal and pocketbook. We hope to see more Pakistani students studying in the U.S. and sharing their cultural heritage with their American classmates.”
During the graduate in-house session, representatives from New York University Tandon School of Engineering, Point Park University, Murray State University, University of Missouri-Kansas City, and St. Could State University, gave prospective students valuable insights into the admission process. They discussed areas of the application process that commonly concern applicants, such as writing statements of purpose. For those pursuing research degrees, the representatives shared the best practices on planning and writing a literature review and refining research methodologies.
In addition to promoting U.S. higher education among students and their parents, the South Asia Tour also equips high school counselors with first-hand knowledge regarding admissions, financial aid, and academic programs. The High School Counselors’ Academy is an increasingly popular event organized on this premise. This year, the Academy featured a customized workshop on college application essays, where the representatives shared the attributes of a successful college essay, the evaluation process from a representative’s perspective, and the best practices for high school counselors.
Finally, the South Asia Tour also hosted a College Fair in each city which drew scores of prospective students, giving them the opportunity to interact directly with the visiting representatives and learn more about admissions, academic and campus life at each institution. The visiting delegation featured representatives from University of Evansville, NYU – Tandon School of Engineering, DePauw University, Hiram College, Albion College, Merrimack College, Point Park University, Siena College, University of Missouri – Kansas City, Colorado State University, Minerva Schools at KGI, University of South Dakota, St. Cloud State University, Ohio Wesleyan University, Murray State University, Stony Brook University and Central Washington University. Of the 17 U.S. universities, seven were participating in the South Asia Tour for the first time. The representative from Point Park University thought that the Tour was “well-balanced between high school and university visits, meeting[s] with counselors and prospective students.”
Speaking about the popularity of U.S. higher education among Pakistani students, USEFP Executive Director, Rita Akhtar said, “Pakistani students’ interest in opting for a U.S. degree has increased in recent years. The credit goes to the administration of educational institutions that encourage students to study in the United States and to parents who support this choice.”
EducationUSA at USEFP offers free advice and assistance to students interested in applying to or learning about U.S. colleges and universities. Register here and an EducationUSA Adviser will be assigned to speak to you about your path to U.S. higher education.