1 By Lizzy Okoji
5 “We are proud to prioritize Nigerian academics in our consular process, as we recognize the value of their success to the future of the country.
6 “With more than 13,700 students fulfilling their American educational dreams, the United States is welcoming more Nigerian students enrolled than ever before.
7 “Americans view college education as an investment in a professional future.
8 “And I am delighted that our Education USA team has helped Nigerian students apply for and receive over $ 28 million in scholarships and other educational funding to pursue their future.
9 “We know, from our more than 8,000 alumni of the education and exchange program in Nigeria, the enormous community impact that results from the return of these ambitious students to apply their knowledge and skills.
10 “Here at the United States Embassy, we pride ourselves on the diversity of American educational institutions.
11 “There are over 8,000 Student and Exchange Visitor Program certified educational institutions in the United States,” Leonard said.
12 The envoy also noted that beyond studying in the United States, the program offers Nigerian students the opportunity to meet American citizens and other nationals, which will help strengthen bilateral relations.
13 She said that with more than one million students from 220 countries and territories, the United States welcomes more international students than any other country in the world.
14 She revealed that Nigeria has sent more students to the United States than any other country in Africa.
15 “Students at our universities exchange ideas not only with American students, but also with students around the world.
16 “The educational enrichment that these types of discussions provide is invaluable.
17 “As students, you will hear personal ideas and stories from your classmates and teachers that will challenge your views.
18 “And also expand your understanding of the world; your ideas and stories will do the same for those around you. She said.
19 According to her, by studying together in the same schools, Nigerians, Americans and students of all other nationalities will not only understand each other better, but also see how many common challenges we all face.
20 “Students can work together to creatively solve problems and establish long-term professional collaborations, strengthening the economic ties of our countries,” added Leonard.
21 She therefore congratulated the beneficiaries, who were present as she urged them to stay focused on their studies in others to have a significant impact in the country upon their return.
22 Education USA Advisor Malate Atajiri said the Opportunities Fund program seeks to identify and support high-performing low-income students who otherwise would not have been able to navigate or fund the process.
23 Atajiri said the program is helping aspiring students secure full scholarships from top colleges in the United States.
24 “The program funds the process right from the testing phase, their application fees and even the payment of their plane tickets after obtaining the funding.
25 “This year, the Abuja Opportunity Fund program helped 50 students secure $ 4 million in scholarships at some of the most competitive colleges and institutions in North America.
26 “Since the program began, we have placed over 320 fully funded students in the United States. The program also has a strong philosophy of giving back.
27 “While we have many students who have done and continue to do great things, Education USA is committed to helping young Nigerians who want to study in the United States.
28 “We are helping students navigate this process and helping them achieve their dreams of an education in the United States,” said Atajiri.
29 Atajiri added that Education USA had six centers in Nigeria; Abuja, Lagos, Jos, Calabar and Ibadan where aspiring students could visit to learn more and get more information about programs and processes. (NAA)