Hosting EducationUSA Advisors
The advisors, who promote U.S. higher education to international students, are from countries around the globe.
By Amanda Gilmer
Special to USF News
TAMPA, Fla. (May 9, 2011) - EducationUSA Advisors work in centers around the globe actively promoting American higher education by offering information and guidance about educational institutions in the United States. This week, the University of South Florida, the University of Tampa and Hillsborough Community College are hosting a week-long visit of the group to show them what higher education in the Tampa Bay region has to offer the world at large.
USF, UT and HCC will host 22 advisors and four staff members from countries around the world including Myanmar, India, Senegal, Pakistan, Italy, and Chile. The group arrived Sunday, May 8, and will travel to all three campuses for intensive training.
“This is an exceptional partnership with two other universities that will provide insight into a range of processes with the understanding that we all work together in the end to meet the goals and expectations of students. We expect to learn as much from this workshop as our international colleagues and are very excited about their visit to Tampa and our three institutions” said. Karen Holbrook, USF’s Senior Vice President for Research, Innovation & Global Affairs.
EducationUSA is a global network of more than 400 advising centers supported by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. Universities were asked to submit proposals to develop a program that would provide the advisors with the information necessary to advise international students interested in studying in the U.S.
Spearheaded by Marcia Taylor, USF’s Director of International Services, the joint proposal to host the group was chosen over 20 other submissions nationwide.
Working with UT and HCC the week is packed with presentations on the operations of the education system, the admission process, American culture, and financial aid. By partnering, all three institutions will be able to emphasize the differences between community colleges, private institutions, and public universities. In her letter of support Marca Bear, Associate Dean in the Office of International Programs at the University of Tampa, highlighted the critical importance of providing comprehensive support services to international students.
This is the first year the Institute of International Education (IIE) has partnered with the U.S. Department of State to offer to a more intensive training and professional development program. “My goal is to ensure that individuals understand the concept of fit for their constituents. We want to give them the right tools and skills necessary to enhance their effectiveness when advising students” Taylor said.
Before coming to the Tampa area the group will spend one week in Washington, DC. Here they will participate in workshops and sessions at the U.S. Department of State where they will gain first-hand experience of U.S. higher education institutions, and engage in strategic planning exercises focusing on applying their new skills and knowledge.
IIE hopes that with this new training model will provide an in-depth knowledge of key topics including the history,
structure and diversity of the U.S. higher education system and utilizing EducationUSA as a diplomacy tool.