I want to congratulate all students in Romania who have received offers of admission from one of the over 4,500 accredited institutions of higher learning in the United States. Graduates of U.S. universities have gone on to become leaders and innovators in many fields around the world, and you should be proud of the invitation to join this special and select group of young people whose lives will be changed forever by the dynamism, openness, and quality of campuses across the United States.
Offers of admission are the product of much careful thought and hard work, both by the students who apply and by American universities that conduct a rigorous review of these applications. We recognize the energy and creativity you poured into essays about your dreams and ideas, the hard work it took to prepare for English language and other examinations, and the commitments you fulfilled to community service and extra-curricular interests.
Over one million international students are now in U.S. higher education institutions, maintaining the United States’ long-standing position as the world’s top host nation for international students. This is a testament to the unmatched quality of American higher education in the eyes of international students and their families.
International students from diverse backgrounds strengthen ties between the United States and countries around the world, developing the relationships between people and communities that are necessary to solve global challenges. We value inclusion, and actively support students from diverse racial, ethnic, religious, and geographic backgrounds on campuses across the United States. Colleges and universities across the United States value international students for the unique and diverse perspectives you provide both in and out of classrooms. American students and communities benefit from the unique opportunity interaction brings to expand their own world views, which helps prepare all of us for shared, successful futures in an interconnected world.
According to the Open Doors Report on 2016, there are over 1,100 Romanian students studying at U.S. universities. They will return with creative new ideas and a variety of experiences, which they will share with their colleagues and other Romanian alumni of American universities. They will start businesses, continue their research, develop new ideas, and further contribute to the Strategic Partnership between our countries.
We are proud that studying in the U.S. has inspired alumni from diverse fields who have contributed greatly to Romania. For example, an alumna of the International Affairs program at New School, New York founded a civic urban action-research center interested in new ecosystems for city innovation in Bucharest; an alumnus of the Harvard Law School is representing Romania at the Danube Commission in Budapest; a number of PhD program alumni from the University of California at Santa Barbara, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and other universities, are continuing their research at their home institutions in Romania. Alumni of journalism, international relations, or security studies have returned with an in-depth understanding of U.S. and global foreign affairs, which informs their keen analyses in those fields. Still others have returned from American business schools to found companies and work in business development, telecom and other exciting fields. A book of successful alumni stories would be practically endless!
U.S. colleges and universities take pride in providing safe, welcoming environments for all their students, and I want to stress how welcome you are in the United States. Many universities have come together to send a specific and direct message to students around the world through the #YouAreWelcomeHere Campaign. I join them in welcoming you to the United States, where our colleges and universities offer valuable educational opportunities to help you meet your life and career goals.
Consular officials at the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest and at American embassies and consulates around the world continue to work diligently to process student visa requests, and information about the visa process is available at https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en.html. EducationUSA advisers worldwide stand ready to answer questions about studying in the United States. Please contact the Fulbright Educational Advising Center at the U.S.-Romania Fulbright Commission in Bucharest for support and information, at http://www.fulbright.ro/educational-advising-center or https://www.facebook.com/Romanian.US.Fulbright.Commission/.
You can also find an adviser at educationusa.state.gov. American colleges and universities welcome you, as do the American people and communities throughout our country.
As the U.S. Ambassador to Romania, I personally encourage those of you who have received offers of admission to accept this life-changing opportunity and join your peers in experiencing the unique value of an American higher education.