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Remarks for EducationUSA Advising Center Opening Ceremony

Peter A. Prahar — Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America

September 15, 2010 — College of Micronesia – National Campus, Palikir, Pohnpei

College of Micronesia – FSM President Spensin James, Vice President Ringlen Ringlen, Vice President Jean Pula, ladies and gentlemen.

I’m very happy to be here today to welcome the College of Micronesia and the education community of the FSM into the EducationUSA Advising Center program.

This EducationUSA Advising Center is part of a global network of more than 400 advising centers supported by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

We support this program because we recognize that an international education is invaluable in preparing students for leadership roles in today’s world.

Millions of prospective students learn about U.S. study opportunities through EducationUSA Advising Centers each year.

This center will assist FSM students in learning about study opportunities in the U.S.

It will offer accurate, unbiased, comprehensive, objective, and timely information about educational institutions in the United States.

It will also offer guidance to qualified individuals on how best to access those opportunities.

Centers are staffed by professional advisers, many of whom have first-hand experience having studied in the United States themselves.

Now let me say something directly to the students who will use this center.

Few decisions in life are as important as where you will study for your college or university degrees.

At EducationUSA, we understand this challenge and are ready to assist you and your family in making this life-changing decision.

We want to help simplify this process for you.

I would ask you to capitalize on the wealth of resources offered by this EducationUSA Advising Center.

Investigate your options thoroughly, and, when needed, ask the Center advisors for guidance…..BUT remember that EducationUSA gives you the tools to select a school ON YOUR OWN.

Researching schools, taking necessary exams, filling out applications, and preparing to study in the U.S. is not a cakewalk.

However, the skills acquired in the process will prepare you for school in the states!

It is your determination and resolve that will make studying in the United States a reality.

I can assure you that the extra work involved in figuring out a foreign school system and dealing with life in a foreign country will prove of enormous value to you in the future.

I myself spent several years in a foreign university – one in Tokyo.

Figuring out admission requirements, learning the language, dealing with very different expectations in classes given in a foreign language, adjusting to life in Tokyo – these were all very difficult.

But they prepared me for a life in foreign affairs like no other experience could have – it was truly a life-changing experience.

I wish that everyone can have such a wonderful challenge and such a wonderful experience.

The EducationUSA Advising Center is intended to help you do just that.

I urge you and your families to use it fully.

I also urge you to, after you complete your studies in the U.S., to return to the FSM to become leaders in your families, in your communities, and in your nation.

On behalf of the Government of the United States, let me wish the best of luck to all of you in your studies and in the future.

Thank you.