Selamat malam. Good evening. It is my great pleasure to be here today to open the EducationUSA Indonesia Fair in Jakarta. I am pleased to see so many enthusiastic prospective students who are interested in studying in the United States. I also want to warmly welcome all of the parents who are joining us this evening. Thank you for spending your Tuesday evening to learn more about our schools.
Ibu Paulina Pannen, from the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education, thank you for being here. The Ministry is a valued partner in our efforts to advance educational exchange.
My highest priority as U.S. Ambassador is to strengthen the partnership between the United States and Indonesia. One of the most meaningful and productive ways to do this is by building long-lasting connections through international educational exchange. Education, and particularly international education, transforms lives. There is no better way to understand one another, and our cultures, than by sharing the experience of learning together.
I want to thank EducationUSA for hosting this fair. EducationUSA is an organization that you can trust to provide unbiased, accurate, and comprehensive information about studying in the United States, and best of all, their services are free. EducationUSA advisers don’t advocate for a single university. They neutrally represent all accredited institutions of higher learning. They can help you select an institution that is perfect for you, find scholarships, and walk you through the application process. I hope that you will connect with an EducationUSA adviser here today, or later online, or at the EducationUSA corner at @america in Pacific Place mall.
One of the exciting things about this fair today is that the university and college representatives whom you will meet this afternoon have traveled to Jakarta along with Surabaya and Medan because they want more Indonesians in their classrooms and on their campuses.
Today’s education fair is a great time to begin your journey to study in the United States. Right now, in addition to the nearly 9,000 Indonesians studying in the United States, the number of international students studying at U.S. higher educational institutions surpassed one million for the first time. The number of international scholars has never been higher. College campuses in the United States are filled with students and staff representing cultures, ethnicities, and religions from around the world. These communities are welcoming, accepting, and diverse.
It is also now easier and faster than ever to get a U.S. student visa. Most of the application process is done online, and the average wait to obtain a student visa is only three days from your interview. Most importantly, over 90% of qualified student visa applicants are approved for a student visa.
The United States offers tremendous educational opportunities for everyone. With over 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States, there is a program for every interest. Over 50 U.S. higher educational institutions participating in the EducationUSA Fair today demonstrate the extensive range of options available in America. This evening, you will have the opportunity to meet with representatives from two-year community colleges, private universities and colleges, and four-year public universities.
I hope that each of you will accept my invitation to study in the United States and that this event marks the first step in your journey to study in America.