Mumbai, with assistance from the Office of International Business Development (OIBD), will become the first city in India to have an educational facility dedicated to helping students and families learn about studying overseas in the United States.
Pennsylvania ranks sixth in the nation for the number of international students enrolled at higher education institutions – with Indian students accounting for more than 17 percent of the international student enrollment.
"This is an amazing opportunity, not only for the families in Mumbai with college-bound students, but also for Pennsylvania's higher education institutions," Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary C. Alan Walker said. "To have the ability to connect directly with thousands of prospective students in India - one of Pennsylvania's fastest growing sources of international students - is priceless."
The Narsee Monjee Educational Trust – Jamnabai Narsee School has established the first ever education center in Mumbai, the Pennsylvania-American Center for Education, to help Indian students gain access to information about American colleges and universities. The center will celebrate its grand opening at the Jamnabai Narsee School in Mumbai on September 21, 2012. Representatives from the City of Philadelphia, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the United States Consulate in Mumbai will be in attendance.
Many Indian families explore international educational opportunities for their children in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States. The primary obstacles that families encounter are a lack of accessible information on the universities/colleges and an understanding of international application/admissions processes. As a result, many families hire education agents who charge exorbitant rates, as high as 10,000 U.S. dollars per student, to provide information on schools in other countries.
The Pennsylvania-American Center for Education will send counselors for training in Pennsylvania and will expect them to meet with universities and colleges to learn about the programs and opportunities in Philadelphia and across the commonwealth. To gain access to the information and services offered by the center, families and students will pay a nominal fee - capped at 3 U.S. dollars.
The City of Philadelphia's Honorary Ambassador to India, Kanika Choudhary, was instrumental in the development of this new center. Working with Philadelphia officials, Ambassador Choudhary spent the past two years promoting educational opportunities, identifying potential economic partnerships, and encouraging Indians to visit Philadelphia and Pennsylvania for business, leisure and educational pursuits.
"Pennsylvania was one of the first states in the U.S. to open an official office in India to promote the trade and investment opportunities," Ambassador Choudhary said. "Now we are proud to have a dedicated facility that will provide Indian families with information about studying at Pennsylvania's world-class educational institutions."