By Khalid AL-Khalaileh and Nicole Rutherford
International education Magazine
An Interview with Mr. Jarred A. Butto
Branch Chief, EducationUSA ( Acting )
United States Department of State
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
For anyone interested in studying in the United States of America, there are many things to consider, including the supportive backbone of EducationUSA.
EducationUSA is a U.S. Department of State network of approximately 400 overseas international student advising centers located in 177 countries worldwide. These centers promote U.S. higher education by providing prospective international students with accurate, current, and comprehensive information about opportunities to study at accredited U.S. colleges and universities. Centers are hosted in a variety of venues across the globe including U.S. embassies, Fulbright Commissions, binational centers, and non-governmental organizations.
What does all this mean for prospective international students?
“We can help students understand the very large, diverse and very decentralized American higher education system so that they have the information they need to make good decisions about the institutions to which they want to apply,” said Jarred Butto, the acting Branch Chief of EducationUSA network.
He said that regardless of a student’s background or financial means, academic success and cultural engagement can be attained.
“It’s both working with international students as they’re choosing where to apply, and it’s also working with American colleges and universities when they’re thinking about how to recruit strategically and support those students when they arrive on campus” said Butto.
EducationUSA works hard to provide information about opportunities ranging from short-term study abroad programs, to intensive English language training, to full degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
“One of the great things about American colleges and universities is the range of programs of study,” Said Butto. “What I think our higher education system has to offer is a place where any international student—regardless of their financial means or academic interests—can be successful.”
The U.S. Department of State administers a number of exchange programs for international students and scholars. Interested parties can learn more at www.exchanges.state.gov.
While international students make up only about 5% of total enrollments in America, they are an important demographic on U.S. campuses. In 2015 there were almost 975,000 international students enrolled in credit bearing programs across the United States, and Butto said the numbers are growing.
He emphasized that while EducationUSA is happy to see the numbers grow, the U.S. Department of State is also focused on ensuring that the quality of the international educational experiences that students have remain high while studying in America, no matter how many students come from abroad.
International students also have a huge impact on the American economy, contributing nearly $30.5 billion per year to the economy.
“It’s a very important part of our economy, but I think what is equally important are the perspectives and world views that international students bring into the classroom,” said Butto. “I think it’s really important that the demographics of the campus community at colleges and communities across this country are representative of the global demographics so that classrooms are microcosms of the world we live in.”
States that are famous around the world, such as California, Texas and New York offer rich cultural experiences, but Butto strongly emphasized that anywhere in all 50 of the American states holds ample opportunities for amazing experiences and incomparable education. Butto asserted that it is because of this diversity and high level of academic quality that the United States is such a great choice for international students from across the globe.
“There are institutions in the U.S. at which international students from any country, from any walk of life can be successful ––and in fact they can enrich those campus communities when they do study here,” said Butto.
For more information, please visit www.educationusa.state.gov