By Noralyn A. Macabalang
KIDAPAWAN CITY – At least 60 more Filipino students have been accepted with corresponding financial aid in different American universities under the host government’s program called “EducationUSA-Philippines,” a program existing for some years already, the U.S. embassy in Manila announced.
In a statement copy-furnished with the Philippine Muslim Today newspaper, the embassy said the Filipino students underwent virtual pre-departure orientations (PDOs) and received financial aids from their pre-identified host schools amounting to over PhP12 million (equivalent to ($240,000) renewable annually, the embassy said.
It said a third leg of the PDO was held on June 24, pointing out that the orientation answered timely questions about international study, safety and security, and travel during the pandemic, as U.S. universities returned to in-person classes. The Embassy’s Consular Section joined the event to answer questions related to student visas, it added. .
The 60 students also heard from Education USA program alumni who shared their experiences and provided advice to the new enrollees. The alumni speakers included Marian May Cedeño attending University of the Incarnate Word, Jerrilee Laspinas, a Rutgers Alumna USTRIDE Scholar, and Atty. Jill De Dumo-Cornista with the Georgetown Law School, the embassy said.
Participants learned as well about classroom culture, campus life, laudable travel planning practices, safety and security, and ways to make the most of their time outside the classroom, the embassy statement said.
“I am excited to see what your future studies have in store for you,” said U.S. Embassy in the Philippines Deputy Cultural Affairs Officer Jennifer Goldstein. “I wish you all an amazing U.S. college experience.”
Increasing access to international education in the United States is among the embassy’s top priorities, especially as it celebrates 75 years of diplomatic relations with the Philippines, the embassy said.
Education USA encourages all students accepted to U.S. universities who were unable to attend the event to reach out to program advisers with any questions or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
EducationUSA provides free advising services to prospective international students in more than 170 countries and offers students resources and tools to help navigate the five steps to U.S. study: researching schools, identifying financial aid opportunities, completing applications, obtaining a student visa, and preparing for departure.
There are more than 4,700 accredited higher education institutions in the U.S. and an EducationUSA adviser can help students narrow their options, define their priorities, and plan their college careers. The program does not offer scholarships but can assist students in identifying scholarship and financial assistance opportunities, the embassy pointed out. (NAM)