We have a shared belief in the power of education: US tells SL


By Sanath Nanayakkare

"One of our strongest connections is a shared belief in the power of education to transform lives and create opportunity, Dawn Suni, Cultural Affairs Officer of the US embassy said at the American National College (ANC) Awards Night held at the Hilton, Colombo recently.

"With your degree from an overseas university, and your strong global perspective, you are a tremendous asset to Sri Lanka. You will lead your country in business, education, health, government and technology," she said addressing the Sri Lankan graduates at the event.

"U.S. universities have increased their efforts to recruit the best and brightest students from countries like Sri Lanka. Why? Because America recognizes that success in this global economy requires a global perspective. Last year, over 819,000 foreign students from all over the world including Sri Lanka studied at public and private institutions in the United States".

"The people of the United States and the people of Sri Lanka have enjoyed a long, rich friendship, with many shared values. When you choose to pursue an international degree, you make a choice to think globally."

"You are here today to embark on a worthy journey to complete degrees in the United States or at another overseas destination. I wish I could meet up with all of you in two years when you return and hear how your educational and cultural experiences have helped you grow and change. For those of you transferring to the United States, I am happy to say "Welcome to America!

"American universities know that having a diverse student body is an asset and improves the quality of the education offered. In fact, many American students, when selecting a university, pay close attention to the percentage of international students, because they want the opportunity to sit side by side with you; to learn together, to learn from each other and to solve the world’s problems together."

"I did my undergraduate degree at Temple University in Philadelphia, a very diverse city with Americans and international students and professors from all over the world."

"One of the best parts of my university experience, aside from eating from the hundreds of food trucks serving up cheap, tasty food from all over the globe, was sitting in those classrooms, debating some topic with my peers and getting to hear perspectives of people from all over the world. It opens your thinking up in a way that can’t be described until you experience it.

"Foreign students in the United States are achieving advanced degrees at unprecedented rates."

"A growing number of graduates in the STEM fields, that’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math – come to the United States; from Asia".

"President Obama has strongly advocated his position to allow more foreign students who earn their degrees at U.S. universities to temporarily remain in the United States to work in their field of study after graduation. You are the future decision-makers who will figure out how to address critical global issues like protecting the environment, expanding trade and investment, and ensuring equality of opportunity to all.With your global outlook, you will be the leaders who uphold Sri Lanka’s strong democratic traditions, to achieve lasting peace and unity, and shared economic prosperity for all, Suni said.

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