FEATURED: Rwanda among top 10 regional countries with highest number of students in the US

U.S. Ambassador Peter Vrooman at a graduation ceremony of the 2017 cohort of EducationUSA scholars. / Courtesy

Rwanda is among the top 5 countries in the East and Southern African to send the highest number of students to America, according to the 2018 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange data released this week by IIE and the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

As of November 2018, Rwanda was the 9th largest sending country in Sub-Saharan Africa, up from 16th position in 2009 (Open Doors, 2018).


The report which was released on Tuesday, November 13 shows the number of international students in the United States increased by thirteen percent over the prior year, while the number of American students studying abroad in Rwanda decreased by seven percent from the prior year.


The top places of origin for international students studying in the United States were China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan, Mexico, and Brazil.


The top host states were California, New York, Texas, Massachusetts, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. Each of these states saw increases in international students in 2017/18.

The number of Rwandan students studying in the United States has been trending upwards over the past 10 years and currently stands of 1,232.

USA tops the list of the 5 countries that receive most Rwandans students, followed by, DR Congo, India, France and South Africa, respectively.

Over a five-year period, the number of Rwandan students pursuing education in the United States has increased from 465 students in the 2011/12 school year, to 1,232 students in the 2017/18 school year (Open Doors, 2018).

According to the report, some of the reasons behind the increased numbers include increased awareness about U.S. college and university application process among students, parents, and educators; Rwandan government partnerships with U.S. higher education institutions such as the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; and the contribution of university preparatory programs at some secondary schools, the Bridge-to-Rwanda program, and the EducationUSA Scholars Program.

The United States is home to more than 4,500 accredited higher education institutions including community colleges and public and private colleges and universities, which provide a world-class range of educational options for students from around the world.

“This vast choice means there are programs available to meet everyone’s needs,” Emmanuel Dukundane, EducationUSA Adviser says.

He added, “U.S. colleges are known worldwide for the quality of their facilities, resources, and faculty. Accreditation systems ensure that institutions continue to maintain these standards.”

The U.S. education system comes among the top worldwide in the choice it offers of types of institutions, academic and social environments, entry requirements, degree programs, and subjects in which you can specialize.

“As an investment in your future, a U.S. degree offers excellent value for the money. A wide range of tuition fees and living costs, plus some financial help from colleges, has made study in the United States affordable for thousands of students before you,” Dukundane added.

Some of EducationUSA alumni currently in the United States:

A: Bonfils Habiyambere, School: University of Rochester, Rochester, USA), Major: Financial Economics (2nd Year)
B: Andromede Uwase
School: University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Nebraska, USA), Major: Integrated Science (1st Year)
CEmmanuel Havugimana, School: Massachusetts Institute of technology (Cambridge, USA), Major: Electrical Engineering (3rd Year)
D: Jean Davis BizimanaSchool: University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Nebraska, USA), Major: Integrated Science (2nd Year)

One of the most distinctive features of U.S. universities and colleges is the flexibility in choice of courses within a college or university, but more importantly, there is also the option for students to move between one institution and another. Completing the first two years of a degree at one institution, usually a community college, and then moving to another, is very common.

It’s against that background that, the U.S. Embassy Kigali is urging Rwandan students seeking to pursue both undergraduate and graduate studies in the United States for the academic to do so in real time.

Educational Information and Advising Centers, which can be found in almost every country around the world and are the ideal starting point for those researching about education opportunities in the U.S.

In Rwanda, the EducationUSA Advising Center is located at U.S. Embassy Kigali in Kacyiru. The EducationUSA Advising Center Kigali has a library with university catalogs, reference books, university promotional materials, and standardized tests prep books such as TOEFL, SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT.

“The EducationUSA Advising Center offers a range of services to Rwandan students seeking to pursue both undergraduate and graduate studies in the United States. EducationUSA services include monthly general information sessions about U.S. study (first Wednesday of each month). Twice a week, there are set hours for advising appointments at the U.S. Embassy American Center library,” Embassy officials say.  

Financing Your U.S. Education

Education in the United States may appear expensive, but it also offers excellent value for the money invested. It is important to understand and plan the cost and financing of your education before you prepare and submit your application to colleges.

Universities and colleges will usually require a financial statement and guarantees as part of their application procedure. In addition, to apply for your student visa, you will need to prove you are able to meet all the costs of your studies.

It is important to start your financial planning at least 12 months before you intend to study in the United States. Financing your college education consists of assessing personal funds, identifying sources of financial assistance, country or region specific financial aid opportunities, and the funding from colleges and universities.

Opportunity for Recent Secondary School Graduates

2019 EducationUSA Scholars Program

EducationUSA Scholars Program is a 10-month college preparatory program that assists students throughout the application process to secure admission and financial aid from colleges and universities in the United States.

Last day to submit applications: December 10, 2018.

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