We hosted an online chat on the U.S. Embassy Facebook page to answer questions about attending college in the United States and provide information about student visas. I was pleased to learn that thousands of people followed the live Facebook chat. The U.S. Embassy promotes international education throughout the year. Members of my team travel across the country to universities and high schools to share information about the many U.S. government-sponsored exchange and study programs available to Cambodian students. During the information sessions, the participants learn about the selection criteria for the different programs and how to best prepare their applications. After completing their U.S. government-sponsored program, many students stay in touch with the U.S. Embassy through the Fulbright and Undergraduate State Alumni Association of Cambodia (FUSAAC) and are eager to share their experience studying in the United States with other Cambodians.
I am really pleased that more Cambodians are discovering the advantages of an international education. During the 2013-2014 academic year, the number of Cambodian students attending universities in the United States increased nearly 10 percent from the previous academic year. Cambodia is part of the wider trend across Asia as more and more young people from this region are recognizing the value of U.S. higher education. Over half of all foreign students attending U.S. colleges and universities in 2013-2014 were from the East Asia and Pacific region. Cambodian students who are part of this growing trend not only develop a better understanding of the United States and receive a world-class education, they also help American students gain insights about Cambodia and the challenges faced by the people of Southeast Asia.
If you’re a student, I encourage you to apply for U.S. government exchange and study programs that are available every year. Please check out the U.S. Embassy’s website for the latest program information, eligibility requirements, and application deadlines. And if you are a young person between the ages of 18 and 35, please be sure to join YSEALI (Young South East Asia Leaders Initiative) and become part of a network of young people throughout Southeast Asia who are developing ways to work across borders to solve pressing problems. You can become a member and learn about opportunities to participate in YSEALI academic and professional exchange programs by visiting YSEALI.state.gov. Thanks for observing International Education Week with the U.S. Embassy!