The U.S. Consulate General in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, is strengthening efforts to attract more American students to South India and promote the region as a study abroad destination among students from the United States.
It has tied up with one of India’s top higher education institutions, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) – Madras, to host a virtual workshop titled ‘Destination South India’ from Nov. 15 to 18, 2021.
To be held in association with the United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) and the Forum on Education Abroad, the workshop will include sessions on mental health, safety of students, credit transfer, importance of community relations, classroom experience, field visits, research, diversity and inclusion, the role of Indian students, and strategies for post-pandemic courses.
The event will help institutions in South India become more familiar with the hopes, expectations, and needs of U.S. students. It will also aim to facilitate interactions between Indian and American institutions so that they can work towards creating successful study abroad experiences for students and to boost partnerships with U.S. universities.
It will include panel discussions, presentations, networking opportunities, and breakout room activities for participants. Elaborating on why South India can be considered as a study destination by American students, Anne Lee Seshadri, the public affairs officer of the U.S. Consulate General in Chennai, said, “The workshop will help Indian institutions discuss strategies to host U.S. students and also enable them to work towards partnering with American higher education institutions. We also want to project that South India offers a fantastic academic and cultural experience for them.”
Representatives from the USIEF and Forum on Education Abroad would also be speaking at the event. Higher education institutions in South India who are looking to increase their reach in the United States, or those who have current engagements or associations with American institutions, are encouraged to participate along with nongovernmental organizations interested in contributing to the field experience of U.S. study abroad students.
Speakers from the Forum on Education Abroad will include Melissa Torres, president and CEO; Kate Moore, conferences and programming consultant; and Amelia Dietrich, research and resources director. Joining them is Maria Stallone, the director for alumni engagement and special initiatives at American Voices.
The deadline to apply is Oct. 15, 2021. Notably, the Indian government has been working on initiatives to boost India as a study destination among foreign students through its National Education Policy 2020 and the Study in India program.
South India is home to some of the prominent higher education institutions with a global standing such as IIT Madras, which has been the top-ranked institution overall for three years in a row by the National Institutional Ranking Framework by the Ministry of Education, Government of India.