Published: 14th May 2019
USA is the best place to pursue higher education: US Consular Chief Kent May
There are more than a million foreign students in the United States. They study engineering, medicine, fine arts, journalism, and dozens of other subjects.
On a warm Virginia evening thirty years ago, I met a lifetime friend. Hundreds of new students were finding our way around campus, registering for courses, and feeling both jubilant and anxious. As I began my university studies at the College of William and Mary, I was enchanted by a place of idyllic beauty and academic rigour, and humbled by the possibilities ahead.
The new friend I made that humid night became part of an extended global family. We watched the Berlin Wall fall that November, crowding around a tiny TV in the dorm. We joined political groups, academic honour societies, and social clubs. We are now diplomats, businesswomen, lawyers, entrepreneurs. And some of us are parents to a new generation born facing historic challenges and opportunities.
My grandfather made a successful career in business with a high school diploma, an accounting credential, and the determination to work hard for his family. My dad and his sister were the first in our family to go to college. My own university education set the stage for all that followed in my career.
And after twenty years raising a family as a US diplomat, I am more convinced than ever that the best place to pursue an education is in the United States. My own son is halfway through his college journey in Philadelphia. Our daughter will begin her university studies in Chicago this year.
There are more than a million foreign students in the United States. They study engineering, medicine, fine arts, journalism, and dozens of other subjects. They enrich our campuses with their experiences, talents, and dreams. Many return home to rejoin their families, start businesses, or work to better their own cities, nations, and institutions. Some continue their studies or pursue employment in the United States, lending their skills and passions to our communities.
One in six foreign students in the United States is from India. The partnership between our two countries is as strong as ever. We need the best international students at US universities and colleges because we need talented global citizens in a world that holds both promise and peril.
Will you be one of those students? Talk with our EducationUSA advisors, come to our student visa presentations, visit the websites of the more than 4,500 accredited US educational institutions. If you do decide to study in the United States, I’m confident you’ll make lifetime friends whose journeys and stories will be as rich and fascinating as your own.
If you have questions about studying in the United States, please send them to ChennaiStudyinAmerica@state.gov. We will be answering the questions we receive in a series of follow-up articles in this paper.
Join the US Consulate on Thursday’s every month for Facebook and YouTube live streams on higher studies in the United States. Follow us on social media for all the updates.
Flickr: U.S. Consulate Chennai
(Kent May joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1998. He served as Vice Consul in Chennai from 1999-2001. His other assignments include Ho Chi Minh City, Sydney, and Johannesburg. In Washington, DC, Kent served in the Executive Secretariat and in the Bureaus of Consular Affairs and African Affairs. Kent was Director of the Los Angeles Passport Agency before returning to Chennai in 2017. He holds a Master of Science from the National Defense University in Washington, DC, and a Bachelor of Arts from the College of William and Mary in Virginia. He and his wife, Melanie, have two children.)