EducationUSA is a network of hundreds of advising centers in 170 countries, where millions of international students each year find accurate, comprehensive, and current information about how to apply to accredited U.S. colleges and universities. The EducationUSA network is supported by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), which strives to foster mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. EducationUSA advisers and staff work with U.S. higher education professionals to promote international student enrollment. EducationUSA also helps promote study abroad opportunities for U.S. citizens. U.S. and international students alike can prepare for leadership roles in today's world through an international education.
EducationUSA Advising Centers may be located in U.S. embassies and consulates, or in a variety of partner institutions, including Fulbright commissions; bi-national cultural centers; U.S. nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) such as AMIDEAST and American Councils/ACCELS; and foreign NGOs, universities, and libraries. These centers share a common goal: assisting students in accessing U.S. higher education opportunities. Advising centers are staffed by EducationUSA advisers, many of whom have first-hand experience studying in the United States. Advisers adhere to EducationUSA ethical standards, abide by the EducationUSA policy to refrain from working with commission-based recruitment agents, and have U.S. State Department-approved training about the U.S. higher education system and application processes. Regional educational advising coordinators (REACs) provide guidance, leadership and training to advisers. The U.S. Department of State partners with the Institute of International Education (IIE) to support EducationUSA activities.
In addition to providing print and online materials at EducationUSA Advising Centers, advisers reach prospective student audiences through fairs and outreach events at local schools, universities, and other public venues. Extending outreach beyond personal interaction, the network reaches millions of students through websites, webinars, and social media platforms. Explaining the incredibly diverse U.S. higher education landscape and decentralized admission process for thousands of U.S. institutions is a monumental task. EducationUSA has simplified the path a prospective international student takes to reach his/her goal of studying in the United States with "Your 5 Steps to U.S. Study": (1) Research Your Options, (2) Complete Your Application, (3) Finance Your Studies, (4) Apply for Your Student Visa, and (5) Prepare for Your Departure.
The U.S. higher education community collaborates with EducationUSA to attract qualified international students to U.S. campuses. EducationUSA assists U.S. college and university recruiting and admissions staff by providing information on trends in higher education overseas, foreign education systems, the importance of recruiting international students, how to utilize the network to recruit effectively, and how to maintain an international-student friendly campus and website. The U.S. Department of State funds the annual IIE Open Doors Report, which provides statistics about rates of tertiary international student mobility to and from the United States. Advisers host college and university visits to their centers and at EducationUSA college fairs. More than 1,000 accredited U.S. institutions access a wide range of services and tools for recruitment advice through the EducationUSA website.
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) also promotes study abroad for U.S. students and study abroad program development for U.S. higher education institutions. The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program provides scholarships for U.S.-citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means and diverse backgrounds to pursue academic studies in non-traditional study abroad destinations. The EducationUSA website offers study and work-abroad resources. ECA has funded grants to enhance the capacity of U.S. higher education institutions to build sustainable study abroad programs with foreign institutions. The www.educationusa.info website is maintained by the Institute of International Education on behalf of the U.S. Department of State.