Remarks by Ambassador Blake at the Signing of MOU to Open the Aceh EducationUSA Center at @america, Jakarta

Good afternoon, selamat sore everyone, and a special welcome to:

  • Vice Governor Muzakir Manaf,
  • Rector Farid Wadji,
  • Wali Nanggroe, other esteemed guests from Aceh.
  • And the rest of our audience, many of whom I understand are originally from Aceh but are now residing in Jakarta.

Today, it’s my pleasure to welcome you to @america for an event that I’m very pleased to participate in.

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 by building our education cooperation through more Indonesian students studying in the U.S., U.S. students coming to Indonesia, university to university partnerships and exchanges of all kinds.

Education, and particularly international education, transforms lives and creates opportunities.  There is no better way to understand one another, and our cultures, than by sharing the experience of learning together in a classroom.

That is why I am I’m very pleased that EducationUSA will be expanding its operations to Aceh and opening a center at UIN Ar-Raniry.   EducationUSA is an organization that you can trust to provide unbiased, accurate, and comprehensive information about studying in the United States.

EducationUSA advisers don’t advocate for a single university; they neutrally represent all accredited institutions of higher learning.

They will help students in Aceh select an institution that is perfect for them, find scholarships, and walk them through the application process.  And best of all, their services are free.

I look forward to my next visit to Aceh so we can have an official ribbon-cutting.  This center further cements the strong commitment the Government of Aceh has made to education.  We were pleased to respond to Acehnese requests to Consulate Medan to create this wonderful center.

This is a great time to study in America.  Right now, there are nearly 8,000 Indonesians studying in the United States, and we’d like to see even more Indonesians take advantage of all that college campuses in the United States have to offer.

There are well over 800,000 international students on American campuses.  The number of international scholars has never been higher.  Why?

Because the U.S. has the most prestigious, top-ranked schools in the world.  Our institutions are known for the quality of their facilities and faculties.  A Reuters survey published last Wednesday, for example, found that 9 of the top 10 most innovative schools in the world are in the U.S.

So I hope that prospective students in Aceh will accept my invitation to study in the United States and that this event marks the first step in their journey to study in America!

So now, I’d like to ask the Vice Governor and the Rector to join me in signing this Memorandum of Understanding on our cooperation to open the EducationUSA Center in Banda Aceh!

As prepared.