June 3, 2016
AIT Official Text #: OT-1607E
Good afternoon everyone! Before I start, first let me say a big “congratulations” to all of you for your acceptance into colleges, vocational schools, summer work and travel programs, and all of the other interesting programs you will begin this summer.
Today you completed one of the crucial final steps before embarking on your summer adventures in the United States – you finished your visa interview! As you know, most Taiwan travelers do not need visas to travel to the United States for many purposes of travel, but for people such as yourselves, who are going to study or participate in long-term exchange programs, you do need a visa.
I’m told there are about 60 of you here today, and that our consular team got all of you through the full process in less than an hour — that’s pretty impressive!
At AIT, we welcome students from Taiwan to study or do exchanges in the United States. Our goal is to make that process as fast and as simple as possible. That’s why you only have to wait two to three days to schedule your visa appointment, and once you are here, from the time you enter the consular section to the time you finish your interview is only about 30 minutes.
We try to make this process as easy as possible because each of you represents the future of people-to-people ties between the United States and Taiwan. Education is an important link between the United States and Taiwan.
Taiwan is among the top ten senders of international students to the United States. In fact, it is the 4th largest sender of foreign students to the United States per capita.
Students studying in the U.S. are a vital part of our people-to-people exchanges and we are very proud that Taiwan is such a large source of foreign students studying in the United States.
Each year, the United States welcomes foreign students to attend more than 4,000 diverse universities and colleges. For example, today some of you are headed to community colleges – a great economical option to begin your college education. As you know, you can begin your college career at these low-cost schools and later transfer to state or private institutions to finish your degree. The options for studying in the United States are virtually endless.
To help you decide, AIT provides information for students at our EducationUSA center located at the Foundation for Scholarly Exchange. This center offers free, accurate, and unbiased information about educational opportunities in the United States, and provides guidance on how to access these opportunities.
I remember, when I was a student, people constantly asked me about my plans for after graduation. I’m assuming many of you are also growing weary of these types of questions. Luckily, AIT also offers programs that address employment opportunities and jobs. We welcome you and students from all across Taiwan to participate in these events, which are advertised on our Facebook page.
Again, I want to thank each of your for attending this special Student Visa Day event with us today and congratulate you on finishing this step in the process. It looks like we have a cake here for you all, and I don’t want to keep you from it, so please enjoy!