|Date: 08/05/2012 Time: 11:50:00 PM
Hosted by the Kuwaiti Graduates' Society and
spearheaded by US Ambassador to Kuwait Matthew Tueller, EducationUSA held a
seminar Tuesday on higher education opportunities in the United States for
Kuwaiti students, especially high-school graduates.
EducationUSA is a global network of more than 400 advising centers
supported by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US
Department of State.
In an opening note, Ambassador Tueller expressed content for seeing a great
number of students and their parents among the attendance, encouraging at the
same time young students to pursue an academic career in the United States
because some of the great features "of the United States higher education
system are diversity and accessibility.
"There are colleges and universities that cater to any conceivable need
regardless of students' interests and capabilities."
He wittily addressed parents by saying "don't worry about this. Your young
son or daughter will have to do their own laundry, learn how to sort the
colors and put quarters in the washing machine," yet asserting that these kind
of social experiences will be "interesting" to their children.
"We are proud that some 5,000 Kuwaiti students are studying in the United
States in all sorts of institutions," he pointed out.
Commencing the seminar, entitled "Planning your Future: An Introduction to
the US Higher Education System", Kristen Cammarata, Regional Educational
Advising Coordinator of the Middle East and North Africa at EducationUSA, said
"with more than 4,500 schools, colleges and universities in the United States,
it is very difficult, even for Americans to decide where or what they need to
apply or study.
"In EducationUSA our job is to help people with this process. We want
students to find what is best fit for them, academically, socially, and of
The Morocco-based official said the cultural angle was also present, where,
EducationUSA "always give a pre-departure orientation here in Kuwait to any
student from any nationality going on to study in the United States," in order
to address the issue of cultural gaps.
"The US higher education system is also very flexible, where students can
change their major through the first year of school, or have a double major.
As for quality; our research facilities are amongst the top in the world," she
On her Part, Waffa Al-Sarraf, Deputy Director of Scholarships' Department
at the Ministry of Higher Education, revealed that the ministry's 2012-13 plan
will provide more than 3,000 seats. She noted that most of these seats go to
the United States due to facilitations by the US embassy here and American
universities dealt with.
Dr. Jassem Al-Tammar, Director General of the Public Authority for Disabled
(PAD), on his part, said that one of the articles of law 8/2010 stipulated
that commitment of the Kuwaiti government to allocate a number of scholarship
seats for the disabled, either inside Kuwait or overseas.
"The number of disabled Kuwaitis studying abroad is more than 140; a meek
figure," he said, revealing at the same time that this figure will increase
significantly in the coming period.
Before the question and answer session, Consul General at the embassy Wendy
Ryde talked about "misconceptions" surrounding the obtaining a US student visa
(I-20 form), while Fouz Al-Khunaini, representing the National Union of
Kuwaiti Students (NUKS) in the United States briefed the audience with the
Union's mission, duties and goals in bid to serve best interests of Kuwaiti
students wanting to study in the United States.