ISLAMABAD: The United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP), in collaboration with Educational Programs (EdPrograms), took forty-six Pakistani high school students, thirteen counselors and four EducationUSA staff members to the U.S. on a summer tour of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to get a taste of American higher education through a series of short classes and workshops.
Career Pathways is a three-week summer program offering multidisciplinary summer classes to high school students at a range of different U.S. colleges and universities. Concurrently, high school counselors are offered professional development programs related to counseling and admissions practices in the United States.
Participants in Career Pathways choose to explore the American Midwest or the East Coast as parallel tours saw twenty-four students and seven counselors visit ten HEIs across four states (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Iowa) from June 18 to July 8 in the Midwest while twenty-one students and six counselors visited fifteen HEIs through another four states (New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Connecticut) from July 15 to August 5 on the East Coast.
“This tour was more than I expected,” explains Muhammad Azmat Fareed from the American Foundation School for A-level Studies (TAFSAL) who participated in the Midwest program. “We experienced life as a student in USA, learned about American culture and their way of doing things.” “We met a lot of people in the admission departments at different universities, got first-hand information, and will stay in touch with them for sure.”
Syed Muhammad Zain Ul Hassan from Roots Millennium Future World School in Lahore participated in the East Coast program and recalls that, “Career Pathways did what it set out to do and more. The tour allowed me to finalize my decision on what course to apply for and gave me a far better idea of how to pursue it in the future.” “The universities gave us a good idea of what is needed to apply and how to ensure a spot in their freshmen classes. It was fun too,” he added. “The tourist activities allowed us to let loose and truly enjoy our experience. An experience of a lifetime!”
Students learned about career development, health sciences, business, entrepreneurship, computer sciences, media sciences, film production, engineering, informatics, international relations, public policy, civic engagement and much more. They returned to Pakistan with a deeper understanding of the American education system and newly fields in an evolving marketplace.
“The transformation we see in the students in a span of three weeks, justifies the importance of the Career Pathways Program”, notes the Director of EdPrograms Umair Khan. “Students not only learn about unconventional fields of study, they get to experience life as an international student on multiple campuses instead of at just one university. Above all, this program reestablishes the quality of education all the U.S. universities offer to international students.”
The accompanying high school counselors were afforded unique opportunities to build on their skills as counselors and to learn more about the U.S. college admissions process directly from key stakeholders at select universities and colleges. According to Sundus Ali, EducationUSA Pakistan, “For counselors and educationists, Career Pathways is a professional development opportunity that helps expand their horizons by learning about what the U.S. universities have to offer. We offer a bridge connecting you to the future!”
EdPrograms is an organization established to promote international education through short-term summer immersion programs. Students pay the costs of their participation; information about upcoming tours and how to participate is available at www.edprograms.org.
EducationUSA, a State Department organization, is the official source of information on higher education in the United States with offices in over 160 countries, providing free and unbiased education advising services..
USEFP is a binational commission established in 1950 by the governments of Pakistan and the United States to manage the Fulbright and other academic exchange programs between the two countries.
Published in The Balochistan Point on August 27, 2018