Thousands of students attended the 21st Annual EducationUSA College and Career Fairs this week in Abuja and Lagos, underlining once again the tremendous and enduring interest in Nigeria for American higher education. Organized by the U.S. Mission and featuring visiting representatives from 25 universities and colleges from across the United States, the September 13 Fair in Abuja and the September 15 Fair in Lagos were augmented by talks by U.S. experts and Nigerian U.S. university alumni on college admissions and student visa application processes.
Declaring the college and career fair open in Lagos on Thursday, U.S. Consul General Will Stevens said that America remains a leading destination for international students, noting the United States offers students an unrivaled educational experience, flexibility, and diversity.
Speaking on the theme “Exploring Opportunities Post-Pandemic,” Consul General Stevens noted that the role of the U.S. Mission in Nigeria is to facilitate and build connections between the United States and Nigeria. He added that one of the best ways these connections are built, and mutual understanding is fostered, is through educational exchange.
“We are happy to provide Nigerian students who wish to study in the United States a unique opportunity to learn about the diversity of the programs offered at various U.S. educational institutions,” Consul General Stevens said.
Two days earlier, in Abuja, U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission David Greene greeted students, parents, teachers and all 25 U.S. university representatives, which included admissions officers from leading and diverse institutions such as Howard University, Drexel University, Pace University, University of Oregon, Iowa State University, and University of Tennessee.
Meanwhile, in both cities, Counselor of Public Affairs Adnan Siddiqi, U.S. Mission EducationUSA advisers, and Nigerian alumni of U.S. universities joined the visiting U.S. college admissions officers to speak about the benefits of American education and study abroad, and to answer questions about the college admissions process, standardized testing, financial aid, and scholarship opportunities.
Over the last two decades, EducationUSA College and Career Fairs have resulted in an increased number of highly qualified Nigerian applicants to U.S. institutions. Nearly 13,000 Nigerians are currently pursuing U.S. graduate and undergraduate degrees across 1,000 U.S. colleges and universities. Nigeria sends more students to U.S. colleges and universities than any other country in Africa and is the eleventh largest source country worldwide of international students to the United States. The vast majority of these students, upon graduation, contributes positively to Nigeria’s public and private sectors and civil society when they return.
EducationUSA is a U.S. Department of State network of over 425 international student advising centers in 178 countries and the official source of U.S. Higher Education. There are five EducationUSA centers in Nigeria located at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, U.S. Consulate General in Lagos, and at the American Corners in Ibadan, Calabar, and Kano.