As we confront the global COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing challenges together, we are reminded of the enduring value of education and cooperation – both are at the core of our ability to handle these challenges.
This year, like every year since 2000, we mark International Education Week. Education and exchanges, like many other aspects of our lives, have been affected by the pandemic, perhaps making it more imperative than ever to find ways to keep the doors to mutual exchange of knowledge open as we cope with the current crisis and to better equip us to handle any others that may come.
I firmly believe that international education should be a part of every student’s academic career. Through globalized classrooms and international exchange, students experience new perspectives and learn how to adapt to unexpected circumstances and communicate across cultures and languages. These experiences will help prepare students to enter the global job market and solve the world’s toughest challenges.
Why choose the United States? We offer world-class academic institutions and leadership in innovation, topnotch faculty that encourage critical thinking, state-of-the-art facilities, and alumni networks that position students for successful careers. The United States offers a wide array of quality educational institutions, from large public and research universities to liberal arts colleges and community colleges. International students join Americans and other students from around the globe to form a diverse, inclusive community while experiencing life in a dynamic American city or a close-knit college town.
Though we expect the number of international students to decrease as a result of COVID-19, today I am happy to note that according to the recently released 2020 Open Doors Student Mobility Report, the numbers of both Montenegrin students studying in the United States and American students studying in Montenegro are up! According to the report, 122 Montenegrin students studied in the United States during the 2019-2020 academic year – an increase of approximately 9%. While the 2018-2019 academic year saw 34 American students in Montenegro – an increase of approximately 62%! https://opendoorsdata.org/
I am also proud that the Embassy has been able to continue some of its educational exchange programs this year, despite the challenges presented by COVID-19. For example, for this first time ever, Montenegrin students are currently in the United States earning master’s degrees through the Fulbright Program.
We recognize the serious challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has posed to universities and students alike, and we hope that international students who had planned to study in the United States are able to do so. As always, U.S. colleges and universities are committed to providing a high-quality education, with their students’ health and safety coming first. For those Montenegrins seeking a U.S. student visa, please bear with us as we seek to facilitate your travel, while also prioritizing the health and safety of our visa applicants and Embassy staff. Please follow our Embassy webpage for Consular Section operating information.
The United States remains committed to supporting international education and exchanges. I encourage all Montenegrin students to consider studying in the United States. Reach out to our EducationUSA Advising Center via the American Corner Podgorica’s social media accounts or contact them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow EducationUSA for a series of online events this week, as well as our Embassy social media accounts.
The application process for U.S. colleagues takes time and effort, but it is certainly worth it. The data bears this out – far more international students study in the United States than in any other country. A U.S. education is like no other in the world. Happy #IEW2020!
By U.S. Ambassador to Montenegro Judy Rising Reinke