A student visa is a great start to helping create a profitable, knowledgeable workforce, says an American university president. (Image: Nicolas Hennette)
14 July 2009
Student visa the start to economic greatness, says expert
A leading US university president has described the benefits from international students studying in America as "public diplomacy" and called for the country to encourage more American students to study abroad.
Robert Morris University President Gregory G. Dell'Omo wrote an opinion peice for the Post-Gazette saying that students greatly benefit from time spent studying overseas.
"The experience will better prepare a future generation of American leaders to work collaboratively with their counterparts around the world", he said.
"Only 1.4 per cent of American college students participate in study abroad programs each year, according to NAFSA: Association of International Educators. Pennsylvania has one of the highest study abroad rates, but with only 2.2 percent of the state's students studying overseas, we have little reason to brag."
"Employers are increasingly looking for workers with international expertise and language skills because they know it makes their organizations far more competitive in the marketplace. According to a 2001 study published in the Academy of Management Journal, corporations with CEOs who have had international assignments outperform companies whose leaders lack this experience", he said.
At the same time Mr Dell'Omo said American benefited greatly from international students choosing to study in America.
"Bringing international students to the United States is a great form of public diplomacy, allowing citizens of other nations to experience the best this country has to offer and to gain an appreciation for our values."
In order to be eligible, the foreign student must:
- Be coming to America for the purpose of full-time study (minimum of 12 semester hours on the university level or equivalent);
- Hold an offer of study from an approved educational institution in America;
- Hold a valid passport;
- Be able to prove they have sufficient funds to pay for their tuition and maintenance for the duration of the program, although in certain the student may be granted permission to work if the employment meets certain criteria;
- Be proficient in the use of the English language, or be enrolled in a course of study which will enable this; and
- Intend to return to their country of abode once the visa expires.
The American Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in American visa and immigration services.