Remarks by Ambassador Blake at EducationUSA Fair, Jakarta
Good afternoon. It is my great pleasure to be here today to open the first of three EducationUSA Indonesia Fairs, which is part of the larger EducationUSA Fair tour through Southeast Asia.
Tomorrow the fair will continue to Surabaya and then to Medan on Thursday. I am pleased to see so many enthusiastic potential 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 afternoon. Thank you for spending your Sunday to learn more about our schools.
I want to thank the Indonesian Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher Education for being here. The Ministry is a valued partner in our efforts to advance higher education, research, and educational exchange.
I also want to warmly welcome the representatives of the 46 U.S. colleges and universities represented at the fair today. They have traveled to Jakarta because they want more Indonesians in their classrooms and on their campuses.
They represent a wide range of academic studies for students seeking two year community colleges, four year universities or graduate programs and reflect the extensive range of options available in America.
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.
For those students who may not be ready to commit to four years at a university, but are still interested in studying in the United States, community colleges are a unique facet of the American higher education system.
The community college route can be a wise choice for those who want a smooth transition academically or ultimately a bachelor’s degree at a lower cost.
When you spend two-years at a community college, you receive an associate degree, after which you can enter the workforce or choose to spend two more years at a college or university to receive your bachelor’s degree. Many community colleges have English language services and special support to help students successfully transfer to four-year universities.
My wife, Sofia, is a good example of this. Sofia started off as an international student at two-year community college and from there; she earned a scholarship to Brown University, one of the top schools in the United States.
Speaking of graduate studies, for those of you interested in graduate school, a few of the U.S. universities represented here today have been selected by the Government of Indonesia to be on the list of prestigious Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education (“LPDP” scholarship program).
The LPDP scholarship program is highly competitive and successful candidates are some of the brightest and most capable young leaders in Indonesia.
Today’s education fair is a great time to begin your journey to study in the United States. Currently, there are over 8,000 Indonesians studying in the United States.
While this is fantastic, Indonesians represent a small portion of more than 950,000 international students on American campuses. This is by far the largest of any country in the world, and the highest number ever.
And the reason we lead the world in attracting international students is that US universities and colleges have some of the top faculties and research facilities; an incredible range of study opportunities for every individual’s needs and interests; and the US is a warm and friendly country in which to study.
No matter which university you choose, you will earn a degree that is recognized and respected world-wide, opening the door to exciting career opportunities.
I would also add, it is 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.
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 education corner at @america in Pacific Place mall.
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.
I am delighted that Mr. Hari Purwanto, Secretary for the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education is with us this afternoon. Pak Hari, will you please share a few words with us?