If you’re thinking of pursuing postgraduate studies to boost your knowledge or enhance your career progress, head down to the US Embassy’s postgraduate education fair on September 20.

Dubbed “Let’s Go America”, the annual event will take place at the Radisson Hotel from 3pm to 6pm, featuring eight universities from the United States.

They include the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education; the University of Rhode Island; Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; Claremont Graduate University; George Washington University; the University of Colorado Boulder; Michigan State University; and Marymount University.

The universities are regionally accredited and are approved by the Brunei Darussalam National Accreditation Council.

Mayra Robles, EducationUSA advisor at the embassy, said participating universities will also be offering funding opportunities, and prospective applicants can also learn more about scholarships through the US State Department’s Fulbright program.

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Do your homework

Mayra said applicants should come prepared by reading up on the universities and by bringing academic transcripts to present to admissions officers.

“When they go to the fair, it would count as an interview if they bring their transcripts and [declare] their intended interest to study at a specific university.”

She said basic admission requirements include having a graduate record examination score (GRE), English test scores such as IELTS or TEFL, personal statements, research proposals, transcripts, as well as recommendation letters.

Applicants who need to take the GRE (standardised tests that is an admissions requirement for most graduate schools in the US), IELTS or TEFL can take the tests at Universiti Brunei Darussalam.

“It takes at least a year to prepare therefore we encourage everyone to explore [the options]. There is also no age limit when it comes to applying for postgraduate studies in the US.”

The embassy also offers advisory services for Bruneians thinking about studying in the US. The sessions are free and held every Friday at the public library in Bandar Seri Begawan.

“[America is] the number one destination for international students,” Mayra said, adding that there are currently over one million international students in the US.

Statistics from the embassy showed that for the academic year of 2016 to 2017, a total of 53 Bruneians were studying in America.

Building professional experience

Daniel Lee, the embassy’s public affairs officer, said the fair is an opportunity for working professionals to gain further knowledge in a specific field, prepare to transition into a more senior position, and enhance their professional network.

“Many countries have great universities but America has a unique mix of practical education and research. Usually noble prize winners [have] attended or are teaching at American universities so we conduct a lot of cutting-edge research.”

Mayra added that one of the strengths a US higher education is that students have the opportunity to pursue practical training after graduation.

The training can take place for a year or up to 24 months, as long as the applicant is enrolled in a degree that is STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) related.

For more information about the event, head to the embassy’s official website.