Tag Archives: United States

US & IRAN: Opening Doors to Education

Facts about Iran Education General License G

May 8th, 2014

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Did you know that despite the strained and hostile relations between the governments of the USA and Iran that thousands of Iranian students study in the U.S. each year? 



In fact, according to EducationUSA, “for the past several years, the number of Iranian students studying in American colleges and universities has steadily grown such that Iran is now 22nd among the top 25 places of origin for international students.” 



As per the non-profit Institute of International Education (IIE), we’ve seen an increase in the number of students from Iran enrolled at American universities reach 8,744. This is very small when compared to the numbers of Iranian students studying in the U.S. prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution. At that time, the highest number in any year was 51,310. In fact, Iran was the largest source of foreign students in the US for nine straight years — from 1974-75 through 1982-83. After the revolution the number began to drop and bottomed out at 1,660 in the 1998-99 school year.

Earlier last month I participated in a conference all hosted by the US Department of State and Department of Treasury on Iran Education General License G. The absence of a presence of a U.S. embassy in Tehran and an Iranian embassy in Washington, D.C. lack of direct diplomatic relations, and imposition of economic sanctions have prevented the easy flow of students and scholars between the two countries. However, with the granting of General License G, both Iran and U.S. can begin engaging in education-related activities, though with some limitations. This is still an improvement and shows the thawing of thirty plus years of animosity between the two countries.

Here are some of the highlights of what activities are covered in General License G:

• Allow accredited U.S. colleges and universities to process applications and acceptance of payments for applications and tuition from students in Iran or individuals serving on their behalf ;

• Academic Exchange agreements between accredited U.S. graduate and undergraduate degree-granting academic institutions and Iranian universities;

• Allow for recruitment, hiring, or employment in a teaching capacity of individuals who ordinarily reside in Iran and are employed in a teaching capacity at an Iranian university;

• Providing of scholarships for Iranian students allowing them to attend accredited U.S. academic institutions;

• Export to Iran of certain additional educational services by U.S. to Iran in support of not-for-profit educational activities in Iran such as: combating illiteracy, increasing access to education, and assisting in educational reform projects;

• Provision for individuals who are ordinarily resident to enroll in certain on-line undergraduate courses (including Massive Open Online Courses, coursework not part of a degree seeking program, and fee-based courses) provided by U.S. academic institutions in the humanities, social sciences, law, business, or introductory undergraduate level science, technology, engineering, or math courses required for the completion of undergraduate degree programs in the humanities, social sciences, law, or business;

• U.S. persons who are enrolled in U.S. academic institutions may participate in educational courses or engage in noncommercial academic research at Iranian universities at the undergraduate or graduate level in the humanities, social sciences, law, or business;

• U.S. persons, wherever located, are authorized to administer professional certificate examinations and university entrance examinations that are necessary or required for admission to accredited U.S. academic institutions, to individuals who are ordinarily resident in Iran.

In May 2011, the U.S. Department of State implemented new visa regulations allowing Iranian students to receive two-year, multiple entry visas. As noted on the website of EducationUSA: “This allows Iranian students the opportunity to return home for “family events, to participate in internships, to travel outside the United States—and they won’t need to get a new visa every time.”

The above provisions are paraphrased from the actual General License G document. For more information, the link to the license is available at: http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/iran_glg.pdf.

Jasmin S. Kuehnert
President & CEO ACEI
www.acei1.com

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10 Facts About Labor Day

August 29th, 2013

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Monday, September 2, 2013 is Labor Day, in the U.S.  It marks the end of the summer vacation season and families around the country will celebrate the holiday with road trips, picnics, barbecues, parades, sport and other outdoor events.  Labor Day is an annual celebration of workers and their achievements and originated in the late 1800s at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the U.S. Labor Day now is a federal holiday and most Government offices, schools, and, businesses are closed.

For those who may not know the origins of this federal holiday, it’s worth noting that Americans in the late 1800s worked 12-hour days and 7-day weeks. Kids as young as 5-6 years old worked in factories. Workers of all ages, particularly the very poor and recent immigrants, faced extremely unsafe and unsanitary working conditions. Workers were allowed to take Christmas, Fourth of July and every other Sunday off. It was the labor activists who forced employers to stop sending kids into mines, glass factories, canneries, textiles and other placed to work long exhaustive hours day and night. The labor movement helped end child labor, and brought about better conditions for workers, including the eight-hour work day with which we are familiar today.

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Here are ten things to know about the origins of Labor Day and labor-related facts:

1. The idea for creating a holiday to honor workers was proposed by either Peter McGuire of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners Union Secretary or Matthew Maguire of the International Association of Machinists. (US Dept. of Labor) sometime in the early 1880’s.

2. On September 5, 1882, New York City held the first Labor Day parade. It is estimated that 10,000 workers participated. (US Census Bureau) Not all employers supported the idea, but many union workers took the first Monday in September off anyway. Some unions levied fines against workers who did go into work. Inspired by the celebration in NYC, similar events took form across the country. By 1894 more than half the states were observing what was then called a “workingmen’s holiday” on one day or another.

3. In 1887, Oregon becomes the first state to make Labor Day a legal holiday.

4. In 1894, President Grover Cleveland and the U.S. Congress make it a national holiday.

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5. In 1983, the union membership rate was 20.1% in the U.S. Membership was 11.3% in 2012. (source: BLS http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/union2.pdf)

6. New York has the highest rate of union workers among the states — 24.1%.

7. As of July 2013, there were about 155.8 million Americans employed in the U.S. (source BLS http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf)

8. 847,516 is the number of paid employees (for pay period including March 12) who worked for a gasoline station in the U.S. in 2011. Oregon (9,634 paid gasoline station employees), along with New Jersey (15,734 paid gasoline station employees), are the only states without self-service gasoline stations. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 County Business Patterns (http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/)

9. 15.9 million is the number of wage and salary workers age 16 and over represented by a union in 2012. This group includes both union members (14.4 million) and workers who report no union affiliation but whose jobs are covered by a union contract (1.6 million). Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey, Table C24010 (http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_11_1YR_C24010&prodType=table)

10. 70% is the projected percentage growth from 2010 to 2020 in the number of personal care aides (607,000). Analysts expect this occupation to grow much faster than the average for all occupations. Meanwhile, the occupation expected to add more positions over this period than any other is registered nurses (711,900).
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/ooh/)

Bonus fact:

25,448 is the number of shoe stores for back-to-school shopping in 2011. Other choices of retail establishments abound: there were 28,128 family clothing stores, 7,093 children and infants clothing stores, 8,144 office supply and stationery stores, 8,407 bookstores and 8,625 department stores. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 County Business Patterns )

Have a safe and happy Labor Day!
tree

ACEI

Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc.
www.acei1.com

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5 Reasons Why USA is the Top Choice for International Students

September 20, 2012

Statue of Liberty

According to a June 27, 2012 post by Study in the USA, “in the 2009/2010 academic year the number of international students in the USA rose by 3% to an all-time high of 690,923.” The U.S. continues to be the top choice for international students who want to continue their studies and broaden their experience.

As the former Director of University Placement Services at ELS Language Center (USA) and EDWAM Services Institute and AFME/AMIDEAST (Iran), I helped place thousands of students from around the world at U.S. colleges and universities to pursue undergraduate, graduate and advanced degrees. There are many benefits to studying in the U.S. and here are 8 reasons why international students choose to study in the United States:

1. Academic Excellence
The United States has one of the finest systems of higher education in the world. Its many different institutions offer academic and practical studies in almost any subject, at all levels, and for all types of student. U.S. universities also provide some of the world’s best professional degree programs in Engineering, Business Administration, Communications and Computer Science where students have the opportunity to work directly with some of the finest and best minds in their field of study. In addition, U.S. degrees have worldwide recognition for their excellence.

2. Flexibility
There is some flexibility in undergraduate programs where you are able to find a wide variety of courses to choose from to meet the requirements for the academic degree you are studying. Also, undergraduate programs allow flexibility to transfer to different institutions and switching your major field of study if you have a change of mind. If you know what you want to study, you can complete a “double major,” and cover two academic fields which you complete within the normal four years of study. And, if you’re “undecided,” you have time to make up your mind and pick a major (field of study) as you complete a variety of subjects in the first 1-2 years under the “liberal arts” requirements of the bachelor’s degree.

At the graduate level, you will be able to tailor your coursework to meet your specific academic goals and needs. You can select topics for a graduate thesis or dissertation based on ideas that are important to you and of interest to you and your country.

U.S. institutions also offer flexible entrance dates: Fall, Winter Spring or Summer with wide range of application deadlines (1-8 months before expected date of entry).

3. Experience American College Life & Travel the US
One of the perks of attending a U.S. college or university is the vibrant campus life you’ll be able to experience through a variety of non-academic activities available to help you get involved. You could run for a position in student government, write for the university newspaper, or join one of the many social or academic clubs available on the college/university campus. You could even cheer your university’s teams from football, basketball, baseball, or soccer!

The size of the U.S. with its great diversity in geography and culture offers international students a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel and see the country during long university summer holidays. The international students offices on U.S. campuses also arrange programs such as holiday trips and host family stays that provide students immersion into American family life and culture.

4. Technology, Research, Teaching and Training
One thing universities in the U.S. pride themselves on is being on the forefront of technology. You can be sure that even if you’re not pursuing studies in the sciences or engineering, you will still have access to the latest technologies available on campus. This exposure will provide you with opportunities to become skilled in using cutting-edge technology to help you with your research, staying connected with other researchers, teachers and experts in your field on a global level.

At the graduate level, students who wish to help finance their education are able to acquire valuable experience through teaching and/or research. This is because many graduate programs at U.S. institutions provide training and teaching opportunities to help students become teaching assistants to undergraduate and/or research assistants on special projects related to their field of study.

5. Internationalization and Global Marketability
Education is a valuable commodity and international students who have earned degrees from U.S. colleges and universities find that they are sought after by employers for their wide range of knowledge and experience. As more U.S. companies seek to have a stronger presence in the global marketplace, they look to hiring individuals whose language skills and education helps them communicate, negotiate and conduct business across different cultures. International companies too look at recruiting from the pool of strong international student graduates of U.S. institutions for the same reasons as their U.S. counterparts. Employers value international student job applicants with and those with overseas work experience. International students in the US have the opportunity to gain work experience during their studies and can work in the US for up to one year or two years (for science and engineering students) after graduation in the Optional Practical Training scheme.

With over 4,500 colleges and universities, the higher education system in the U.S. offers something for everyone. No matter what your educational goals may be, you will be able to find a college or university that provides the particular field you want to study. In fact, you’ll probably find several colleges or universities to choose from!


Nora S. Khachetourians
Executive Director, ACEI, Inc.
acei@acei1.com

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