OP-ED by Chief of Mission Margaret D. Hawthorne
I want to congratulate all students in the Dutch Caribbean who have received offers of admission from one of the over 4,700 accredited institutions of higher learning in the United States. Graduates of U.S. universities have gone on to become leaders and innovators in many fields around the world, and you should be proud of the invitation to join this special and select group of young people whose lives will be changed forever by the dynamism, openness, and quality of campuses across the United States.
Offers of admission are the product of much careful thought and hard work, both by the students who apply and by American colleges and universities that conduct a rigorous review of these applications. We recognize the energy and creativity you poured into essays about your dreams and ideas, the hard work it took to prepare for English language and other examinations, and the commitments you fulfilled to community service and extra-curricular interests.
Over one million international students are now in U.S. higher education institutions, maintaining the United States’ long-standing position as the world’s top host nation for international students. This is a testament to the unmatched quality of American higher education in the eyes of international students and their families.
International students strengthen ties between the United States and countries around the world, developing the relationships between people and communities that are necessary to solve global challenges. We value inclusion, and actively support students from diverse backgrounds on our campuses. Colleges and universities across the United States value international students for the unique and diverse perspectives you provide both in and out of the classroom. American universities and communities benefit from the knowledge and talents of international students, which helps prepare all of us for shared, successful futures in an interconnected world.
U.S. colleges and universities take pride in providing safe, welcoming environments for all their students, and I want to stress how welcome you are in the United States. Many U.S. universities have sent messages of welcome to students around the world through the #YouAreWelcomeHere Campaign (https://www.youarewelcomehereusa.org). I join them in welcoming you to the United States, where our colleges and universities offer valuable educational opportunities to help you meet your life and career goals.
Consular officials at the United State Consulate General Curacao and at American embassies and consulates around the world continue to work diligently to process student visa requests, and information about the visa process is available at https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en.html or at https://cw.usconsulate.gov.
EducationUSA advisers worldwide stand ready to answer questions about studying in the United States. You can find an advising center at https://educationusa.state.gov/find-advising-center. For those still considering study in the United States, EducationUSA advisers can provide valuable resources to help inform your decision. With over 4,700 accredited institutions in all 50 U.S. states, there’s an American college or university that’s right for everyone. There are study options at many price points, including community colleges and “2 plus 2” models that combine study at a community college and a four year institution to earn a bachelor’s degree.
American colleges and universities welcome you, as do the American people and communities throughout our country.
As the U.S. Consul General to the Dutch Caribbean, I personally congratulate and encourage those of you who have received offers of admission to accept this life-changing opportunity and join your peers in experiencing the unique value of an American higher education.