Promoting study in the United States is one of the five core programs of American Spaces. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs EducationUSA program is the official source of information on U.S. higher education for American Spaces and the students and parents in their communities.
EducationUSA has a network of over 400 international student advising centers in more than 170 countries. Some of these centers are located at American Spaces, while some are at the offices of EducationUSA partners or other locations. The network promotes U.S. higher education to students around the world by offering accurate, comprehensive and current information about opportunities to study at accredited post-secondary institutions in the United States.
Each American Space should work with the closest EducationUSA Advising Center and the embassy/consulate to plan how to be most helpful and effective in connecting students interested in studying in the United States with the information they need. Excellent information and guidance is available on the EducationUSA website. All American Spaces should have at least a basic (bronze) set of up-to-date information materials on U.S. higher education. These can be obtained on eShop.
Resources for Educational Advising
“Your 5 Steps to U.S. Study”: Students can access this online self-advising guide on the EducationUSA website.
Regional Educational Advising Coordinators (REACs): Public affairs sections and American Spaces coordinators are encouraged to develop close relationships with their REACs, who are responsible for ensuring that EducationUSA advising meets State Department standards. REACs can suggest appropriate reference materials – print as well as online – and develop training plans for American Spaces staff. If you do not know the REAC for your country, contact your embassy or consulate public affairs section.
Training: At a minimum, American Spaces staff should have a basic understanding of advising materials available and how to direct students to the nearest EducationUSA adviser. Under the guidance of the REACs, American Spaces staff may take two online EducationUSA adviser online training courses for basic information needed to guide students: the New Adviser Orientation (about an hour) and the Fundamentals of Advising course (12-16 hours). Contact your REAC to access these courses.
Written Materials: American Spaces are encouraged to include information about studying in the U.S. in their collections. Books, ebooks, DVDs and other products are available through eShop. Bronze, Silver and Gold advising collections have been curated for American Spaces.
Social Media Platforms: The EducationUSA Facebook page helps students connect with EducationUSA and is easy to feature in American Spaces. In addition, many advising centers have their own Facebook pages that provide country-specific information. EducationUSA also is on Twitter. The EducationUSA YouTube channel allows students and their families to view videos on U.S. colleges and universities and from current international students. In countries where Facebook and Twitter are not the dominant platforms, advisers use local platforms, such as Sina and Weibo in China and Vkontakte (VK) in countries where Russian is widely spoken.
Experience Sharing: Students from the local community or country who are currently studying in the United States can provide a credible perspective to young people considering study abroad. Host country alumni of U.S. colleges/universities are also great resources. Americans learning abroad – such as Gilman Scholars, American undergraduates studying abroad and Department of State interns – are ideal resources to speak on residential life, classroom styles, college athletics, social activities on campus and the diversity of majors available at U.S. colleges and universities. Foreign Service Officers are often willing to make presentations about their own U.S. educational experiences and aspects of the U.S. higher education system. Fulbright scholars, Fulbright English Teaching Assistants and Peace Corps Volunteers can also provide a firsthand view of studying in the U.S.