Education Plus

Reach for the stars

Consul General Phillip A. Min interacting with students at the USIEF-IIE Education Fair in Chennai.   | Photo Credit: GRJGM

This morning over 100,000 Indian students will wake up in the United States and prepare for classes, research and study. Years ago, I too found myself in a classroom halfway around the world from my home.

As a graduate student at the University of Washington, I took time off to pursue language studies and conduct research in South Korea. I remember fondly the kindness and wisdom of my professors, the friends I made from Korea as well as many other countries, and the adventures we shared as I explored the land my maternal grandparents emigrated from eighty years earlier. The year I spent studying overseas helped mould me into the individual I am today. It taught me to be resilient and self-reliant, and exposed me to different cultures and points of view. It also gave me a greater appreciation for my own country, which influenced me to eventually become an American diplomat.

My experiences as an American student, and later a teacher, overseas shaped my view of the world and my place in it. Today, as we celebrate International Education Week (IEW), I am proud to be one of millions who have benefitted from international education and exchange. You can be one too.

U.S.-India partnership

Every day, the U.S.-India education partnership grows deeper through the efforts of our governments and academic institutions. The Fulbright-Nehru programme, administered by the U.S.-India Education Foundation, has nearly tripled in size since 2009, with approximately 300 Indian and U.S. students and scholars participating annually. The United States and India have each pledged $5 million to the 21st Century Knowledge Initiative to support partnerships between higher education institutions in both countries to strengthen teaching and research in priority fields such as energy, climate change and public health. Just last week, I joined representatives from Purdue University and IIT-Madras as they signed a new agreement to continue collaboration. I saw first-hand innovations in welding, water purification and traffic mobility that have stemmed from this longstanding partnership.

Today in New Delhi, participants in the U.S.-India Higher Education Dialogue are discussing new ways to encourage academic mobility – for U.S. and Indian students, scholars, and faculty to collaborate more deeply and easily through technology-enabled learning, new exchanges, workforce training, and private-public partnerships. This year’s Dialogue is focused on India’s new platform for online courses and new collaboration opportunities in science, technology and innovation.

Joint collaboration

Later this week, on November 21, the U.S. Consulate General, Chennai will host a conference on the “Internationalization of Higher Education” in partnership with the Vellore Institute of Technology University in Chennai, bringing together U.S. experts and key stakeholders in the Indian higher education and industry sectors to discuss opportunities and challenges of internationalisation, academia-industry collaboration, capacity building and alternatives in higher education.

The U.S. and India are working together to make education a reality for all of our citizens and international education and exchange is a big part of our joint efforts. We understand that the bonds developed between students in study hall, the exchange of ideas in classroom debates and cross-cultural experiences shared outside of the classroom are invaluable. J. William Fulbright once said, “Perhaps the greatest power of such intellectual exchange is to convert nations into peoples and to translate ideologies into human aspirations.” What are your aspirations and how can an international education experience help you achieve your goals? I invite you to learn more about international education and exchange opportunities at www.usief.org.in and join our growing global community.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 3:26:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/education/reach-for-the-stars/article6603095.ece

Next Story