New Delhi, June 20: On Thursday, the US embassy organised a "student visa day" and around 800 applicants aspiring to study in America were interviewed. The embassy staff dressed in attires sporting US university logos, interviewed students applying for visas to pursue higher education in the US. Information related to academics and campus life were provided to the applicants.
Embassy Charge d' Affaires Michael Pelletier said at the event: "As you prepare to pursue your studies, I want you to know that you are not only contributing to your personal future, but you are also making a major contribution to the links that bring India and the US together through people-to-people ties."
Consul General Cynthia Haley noted: "The United States has some of the world's finest educational institutions and we are seeing record numbers of visa applications."
The embassy said, "since October 2013, a record number of students have applied for US visa and issuances have increased by 40 percent as compared to the same period in 2013." Nearly 100,000 Indian students are currently studying in the US, it said.
According to the aspirants at the embassy, the flexible education system in the US is what attracted them.
Shaurya Dhankar, who was one of the students to get a visa said, "I find the American higher education system to be much more flexible when compared to the system we have in place here. In US, you get two years to decide the subject you want to do your major in but that is not the case here," added Dhankar.
Dhankar is headed to University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA) to pursue his under-graduate course in electrical and electronics engineering.
Agreed Kamakshi Bharadwaj, who too got her visa approved and was looking forward to the prospect of getting exposure to a new country and its culture. "My uncle and aunt live in the US and I have heard a lot about the country. I am now ready to experience it first hand," said Bharadwaj, who would be leaving for George Mason University in Virginia in July to pursue under-graduate course in computer sciences.
Inputs from IANS