Remarks at Opening of EducationUSA Advising Center in Medan

Selamat siang!

Thank you, Jeffrey. Jeffrey Jeo is our new EducationUSA adviser in Medan, and I’m proud to say he’s also a US graduate. He went from Sutomo high school in Medan to Arizona, where he graduated from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ with a GPA that you probably never saw on one of my transcripts and a Presidential Scholarship. He’s a great example of the top-notch students from Medan and we’re so happy he’s here to help other young people here achieve the same success.

Warm thanks also to Mick Stevens, Director of the Australia Center in Medan, for having the vision to create a true center for international education in the heart of the city. Our efforts to pave the way for Indonesian students to pursue their dreams in America’s colleges and universities are the cornerstone of our Comprehensive Partnership with Indonesia. The graduates of these universities will come back and help advance every aspect of the wide and deep cooperation between the US and Indonesia.

It’s no coincidence that my first public event in North Sumatra is the inauguration of EducationUSA’s new office here. I wanted to emphasize the importance we attach to education. We promised to send more students to the US, and we are delivering on that promise. From 2009, the year before the Comprehensive Partnership, to last year, the number of student visas we issued in Indonesia increased a whopping 65%.

And I want to assure the students and parents who are listening that it is easier than ever to get a visa to the US. 95% of Indonesians applying to legitimate 2 or 4 year higher education programs in the US receive their visas, almost all of them within 5 days of applying.

I also want to assure you that Jeffrey’s advising services are free to the public. He’s not an agent – that means that neither clients nor universities pay a commission to him. That guarantees that rather than directing all students to just one or two specific campuses, Jeffrey is looking at each and every one of America’s 4,300 accredited colleges and universities to find the best fit for each student. So please call him, email him, or drop by and see him to learn more.

I’m proud to share the spotlight today with several Medan students who have made this exciting choice and are heading to the U.S. to study this August. They represent the many options and opportunities that the U.S. has to offer.