Opinion Brian A. Nichols
SHORTLY after my arrival in Zimbabwe 10 months ago, I met two young Zimbabweans — Panashe Muriro and Tinashe Maparura.
Both students were in the nascent stages of applying to study at American universities and were working closely with the EducationUSA Advising Center in Harare. A month ago, I was delighted to hear that Northwestern University and Swarthmore College awarded full scholarships to Panashe and Tinashe, respectively.
This September they and more than 300 other Zimbabwean students will join 1 300 Zimbabweans already studying at American universities and colleges.
As the US ambassador, I congratulate all of the Zimbabwean students who have been accepted to American universities. Graduates of US universities have gone on to become leaders and innovators in many fields around the world, and Zimbabwean students are joining a special and select group of young people from all over the world.
These students will return to Zimbabwe to help build a more prosperous future. We also hope to see more American students attend universities in Zimbabwe and continue to work with the Government of Zimbabwe to facilitate these types of educational and cultural exchanges for our students.
Over one million international students attend America’s 4 400 higher education institutions.
The United States has long been the world’s top host nation for international students and competition for admission is intense. Zimbabweans are studying at some of our top universities, many on full scholarships. This is a testament to Zimbabwe’s strong educational tradition and the quality of its students.
Communities in the United States benefit from the knowledge and talents of international students. Zimbabwean students in the United States strengthen the ties between our countries. Campus relationships create bonds between people and build connections between communities.
US colleges and universities value the diverse perspectives international students bring to the classrooms, dormitories, sports fields, campus clubs, places of worship and countless other settings.
I want to emphasise how welcome Zimbabwean students are in the United States. Many US universities have sent messages to students around the world through the #YouAreWelcomeHere campaign (https://www.youarewelcomehereusa.org).
With more than 4 000 colleges and universities in the United States offering a variety of programmes, there is something for every type of student.
I encourage Zimbabwean students to meet with our EducationUSA advisers at our American Center at the US Embassy in Harare and at our American Corners in Bulawayo, Mutare and Gweru.
Our advisers are happy to assist students who have been accepted to schools in the United States with their pre-departure plans and to explore possibilities with students who dream of studying in the United States.