Remarks by Ambassador Blake at the U.S. Graduate School Fair 2015 at @america, Jakarta

Good afternoon. It is my great pleasure to be here today to open the EducationUSA U.S. Graduate School Fair.  I am pleased to see so many enthusiastic potential graduate 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 Saturday to learn more about our schools.

LPDP President Director, Eko Prasetyo, thank you for being here.  The Ministry is a valued partner in our efforts to advance educational exchange.

Ladies and gentlemen 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.

The representatives of the prestigious universities and colleges whom you will meet this afternoon have traveled to Jakarta because they want more Indonesians in their classrooms and on their campuses.

All these institutions have been selected by the Government of Indonesia to be on the list of 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.

LPDP currently awards nearly 3,000 scholarships annually and intends to award up to 5,000 in the coming years. So for those of you already awarded the LPDP scholarship – congratulations!

For those of you still in the process of applying for the scholarship, I can’t imagine a better way to take care of financing your graduate education.

This is a great time to study in America.  Right now, in addition to the nearly 8,000 Indonesians studying in the United States, 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 Wednesday, for example, found that 9 of the top 10 most innovative schools in the world are in the U.S.

The United States offers tremendous educational opportunities for everyone. The 25 U.S. institutions participating in the U.S. Graduate School Fair today demonstrate the extensive range of options available in America.

This afternoon, you will have the opportunity to meet with these representatives and alumni.  And I understand that LPDP is expanding the list of eligible U.S. universities, so there will be even more choices for you.

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.

Now many people ask me about visas.  I am happy to say 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 96% of qualified Indonesian student visa applicants are approved for a student visa.

Let me conclude by thanking 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 not only the first step in your journey to study in America, but the beginning of a lifelong friendship with the United States.

As prepared.