On February 9, 2020, 13 U.S. university representatives flew into Karachi to kick-start the 16th bi-annual South Asia Tour in Pakistan. Twice a year, in spring and fall, U.S. universities visit Pakistan to meet students who are hoping to study in the United States. EducationUSA and USEFP facilitates this interaction, allowing U.S. universities to explore the student body in Pakistan, who in turn gain a better understanding about admissions to U.S. universities.
The universities visiting during this year’s spring 2020 tour included Pima Community College, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Temple University, University of Kentucky, State University of New York at Plattsburgh , Drexel University, Western New England, New York Institute of Technology, St. Cloud University, Minerva Schools at KGI, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, University of Houston Victoria and Kent State University. For four universities, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Temple University, Drexel University and University of Houston Victoria, this was their first-time visiting Pakistan.
During the tour, these university reps visited 15 high schools and seven universities across the three major cities of Pakistan, and interacted with over 4000 students, parents and counselors. Students currently pursuing their O and A level studies spoke about their various passions, and university representatives helped match these passions with degree programs. Conversations ranged from ‘what do teens like to do in Pakistan?’ to ‘how can I study game design in the United States?’
Munazza Nadir, an AS level student at Karachi Grammar School talked about the universities that visited her campus during the South Asia tour, saying, “The visit from the universities helped me explore various options, interact with university representatives to address my questions and queries and gauge the best place for me.”
Enrollments are crucial to recruitment efforts, which is why for the first time, visiting representatives were provided with a platform to connect with their alumni and admitted students. “Yield and Alumni Receptions” were hosted in Karachi, Lahore & Islamabad, designed to help U.S. representatives interact with their student applicants, admits (their parents), alumni and even school counselors – so their tour in Pakistan was more productive. Face to face conversations proved essential in determining the best-fit applicants and also strengthened relationships with Pakistani alumni. The receptions were a huge success, coupled with the fact that U.S. consular officers were present to answer any visa related queries of prospective students and their parents.
Kregg Strehorn, a representative from UMass Amherst, said that “We have built a thriving global community at UMass Amherst, and students from Pakistan continue to play a large role. Visiting Pakistan in-person was amazing, and the yield and alumni events that EducationUSA helped to organize were instrumental in the success of our trip.”
Next up were the U.S. College fairs held in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. More than 700 students attended these fairs; a one-stop shop to get the best information about studying in the United States, along with 13 possible options for university. Not only were students able to meet representatives for undergraduate and graduate degree programs, they also got the opportunity to meet EducationUSA advisors, visa officers from the U.S. Embassy and Consulates, and USEFP representatives from testing services, who altogether could answer any query regarding the 5 steps of the U.S. College application process. The college fairs in Karachi and Lahore were attended by Deputy Consul General Jack Hillmeyer and Consul General Catherine Rodriguez respectively.
Emilee Smith from Western New England university summed up her experience in Pakistan, saying “The EducationUSA Pakistan team worked so incredibly hard to make our two weeks in Pakistan the most worthwhile experience. The organization and communication of the trip from beginning to end was unparalleled and the experience was reflected in the high quality of students with whom we interacted.”
During the tour, representatives found the time to visit malls, local eateries and other sites to enjoy their trip to the fullest. They experienced the beauty of the Katas Raj Temples, Badshahi mosque in Lahore and enjoyed fencing and horse-back riding at Cadet College Hassan Abdal.
Click here to watch the highlights of the spring 2020 South Asia Tour.
EducationUSA at USEFP offers free advice and assistance to students interested in applying to or learning about U.S. colleges and universities. Register here and an EducationUSA Adviser will be assigned to speak to you about your path to U.S. higher education.