College fairs are a regular feature on AMIDEAST/Egypt’s fall calendar, but it was especially important to hold them this year in the aftermath of the Arab Spring and the January 25th Revolution. The fairs underscore the importance of continuing to provide the many educational and training services that Egyptians seek as they consider the next steps in their academic careers.
More than 1,200 prospective students, parents, and school officials came to the fairs in Cairo and Alexandria to gather information and seek guidance to making the right choices for their higher education – choices that may be the most important in their lives. Each fair featured a booth for each participating university, as well as booths for EducationUSA and the U.S. Embassy. In an open discussion forum that was arranged in conjunction with the Cairo fair, panelists AMIDEAST Country Director for Egypt, James Ketterer, AMIDEAST Testing Director Injy Shaarawy and U.S. visa consular officer Courtney Musser responded to audience questions about the application process, student visa requirements, standardized tests required for U.S. university admissions, and aspects of U.S. higher education. A similar session was held in Alexandria for the Competitive College Club members and other selected students.
“We were pleased not only by the large turnout but by the solid support of the 18 American institutions that sent representatives,” said Country Director Ketterer, AMIDEAST. “Study in the U.S. represents an important link between Egyptians and Americans and AMIDEAST is committed to expanding these academic opportunities for Egyptian students.”
Enrollments of Egyptian students at U.S. institutions have been steadily increasing in recent years. They reached 2,271 in the 2009/10 academic year, up from 983 five years earlier, according to the Open Doors data collected by the Institute of International Education.