May 25, 2017
AIT Official Text #: OT-1708E
(As Prepared for Delivery)
Good afternoon to everyone here in the room with us and to all of our AIT Facebook fans joining us online. Welcome to AIT’s second annual Student Visa Day!
First of all, a well-deserved congratulations to all of you here for being accepted into universities, vocational schools, and other academic and recreational programs throughout the United States. As AIT Director, I’m honored to welcome you all to study in the United States.
And to those of you online, we hope to see you sometime soon as well. The United States welcomes international students.
We’re here today to acknowledge the hard work and character that all of you here today have shown to gain admission into your programs. But we’re also here to celebrate another important step – completing the visa interview. Because Taiwan is a Visa Waiver Program participant, some of you may have traveled to the United States before but didn’t need a visa interview.
However, for study and long-term exchange programs, completing the visa interview is an important requirement. AIT is proud to provide excellent customer service to visa applicants.
This afternoon, I’m told that the consular team interviewed around 100 of you in about an hour. This is a great example of AIT’s commitment to providing efficient consular services. Each minute of the visa process, from the moment you schedule an appointment on-line to the interview itself, is carefully tracked and analyzed in order to provide you with the best service possible.
We are thrilled to have so many of you take advantage of this service today. AIT recognizes the importance of education and its role in the relationship 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. That’s a lot of students!
No matter why you are going to the United States, once you are there each of you will have an important role to play helping the Americans you meet better understand Taiwan and its people. Just like myself and my staff at AIT are here to represent the United States in Taiwan, you will represent Taiwan in the United States.
You are all traveling to the United States for various reasons, from summer programs in America’s national parks to earning an academic degree at a four-year university. This is representative of the vast diversity of options available in the United States. Whatever your passion, there is a program that is right for you.
When you were still just thinking about studying or working in the United States, I hope you had a chance to visit AIT’s EducationUSA center located at the Foundation for Scholarly Exchange. If not, or for our friends online who are still exploring their options, we want everyone to know that AIT’s EducationUSA center offers accurate, comprehensive, and current information about educational opportunities in the United States, and provides guidance on how to access these opportunities. And all for free! I welcome you to visit!
We also offer a variety of information on the multiple study options in the United States on our AIT Facebook page and on the EducationUSA Taiwan Facebook page. (like us today!)
When I think back on college, I remember the relationships that I built with classmates, professors, and mentors. And I encourage you all to make a special effort to build relationships when you are in America: meet new people, engage in meaningful conversations, and build lasting friendships. The relationships you make in America will become additional ties that bind Taiwan and the United States together.
Thank you all for joining us today – either here in person or on our Facebook page. And once again, congratulations for being accepted into programs throughout the United States. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.