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American universities look to attract students from the UAE

Representatives of American institutions say that campuses are ready to welcome international students

Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News
Students being briefed about education at Texas State University during the opening of BMI College Fair at Abu Dhabi Sheraton Hotel.
Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: American universities taking part at a college fair in Abu Dhabi on Thursday gave a message of assurance that the US is still the leading destination for higher education, and that campuses across the US are looking to welcome in international students.

At least 16 American institutes took part in the college fair, providing students with valuable information about the enrolment process, the degrees that are on offer, and what campus life is like for those that are coming from abroad.

“We are very interested in promoting the US as a destination for Emirati students to choose their higher education in the US, and we are thrilled that there are many American universities here [at the college fair] trying to recruit students,” said Nadiya Ziyadeh, a US embassy spokesperson.

“The US remains the leading destination for international study globally, and events like this encourage students and show that the American campuses are open and welcoming, and that they want [international students] to study there,” she added.

Dr Niki Charles, director of international recruitment for summer session, Duke University, said that attracting international students has become a major pillar for institutions in the US, with many keen on providing a supportive environment.

“Half of our students are international ones and so because of that we believe that it’s important to have a supportive environment for them, we work very hard to make sure that all our international students are valued and supported,” she said.

Charles also spoke positively on US students getting the opportunity to interact with international students.

“The US students benefit the most by having the interaction with international students, they get a lot out of it, getting the chance to know people from different countries,” she added.

Rosario Davis, associate director at Texas State University, said that number of students from the UAE to the US was also on the rise, and added that enrolments of international students to the US was on the up.

“We do have a growing number of students from the UAE, and not just Emiratis, because in the UAE you have students from many different countries.”

Davis also spoke of how the university looked to accommodate its international students.

“We have designed a lot of events for our international students, making sure they get the orientation they need, and to also remove any potential blocks they have from being involved in society,” she said.

Bethany Pinegar, international recruitment specialist at California State University, Chico, also acknowledged the growing number of students from the UAE going to the US for their higher education studies.

“We have a campus of over 17,000 students and a fair number of them are Emirati, and in fact we have a long history of Emirati students at our university,” she said.

“The number is growing as well, the US is going through a challenging time at the moment, but I do believe we have excellent schools, and so the number of [international students] will be good,” she added.