THE United States Consul General, Claire Pierangelo, Sunday disclosed that Nigeria has the highest number of Africans studying in U.S colleges with over 12,000 students.
Pierangelo who stated this while addressing participants at the 20th annual Education USA College and career fair for prospective undergraduates and graduate students held at the Muson Centre, Lagos said U.S institutions not only offer qualitative education, they groom their products to be competitive in the job market.
According to the envoy, U.S. higher education institutions go beyond theory to offer international students practical training and jobs on campus while studying.
She noted that graduates of U.S. institutions are in high demand because of the experience they gained doing internships, jobs, and volunteering.
“You would not be here if you didn’t believe as I do, that education is a great catalyst, one of the main ingredients in fulfilling your dreams. EducationUSA fair would give you direct access to admissions representatives from a diverse group of colleges and universities in the United States. You also have two of the most passionate EducationUSA Advisers on the continent. “
The envoy disclosed that in the last 19 years, EducationUSA has organised college fair to introduce Nigerians to U.S. colleges and universities with over 4,000 accredited higher education institutions and over 600 courses of study.
She said the U.S. Department of State supports EducationUSA fairs with over 400 advising centres around the world.
“Education is the most powerful weapon in the world. It is the one thing that makes a difference in every country. It is a great means of fulfilling dreams and there is nothing more rewarding than to see students grow and achieve their dreams,” she said.
Also a U.S. Consular Officer, Matthew Phillips enlightened participants about student visas and how to get through the interview process.
Phillips urged prospective students not to follow scripts or rehearse before going for visa interviews.
“Be prepared for your visa interview, you do not have to rehearse all you’re going to say. We only seek to understand why you want to study in the U.S, know if you’re a credible student and if you have the finances to pay your tuition,” he said.
“Your story must be authentic in order for your visa to be approved,’’ he added.
He enjoined participants not to fall victims of fraudulent individuals who portray themselves as visa application guides.
Admission officers and representatives from U.S. colleges and universities were present to provide students, parents and guardians with information about their application processes, standardised testing and scholarship opportunities.