EducationUSA is a U.S. Department of State network of over 400 international student advising centers in more than 170 countries. EducationUSA is officially a branch in the Office of Global Educational Programs in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). ECA fosters mutual understanding between the United States and other countries by promoting personal, professional, and institutional ties between private citizens and organizations in the United States and abroad, as well as by presenting U.S. history, society, art and culture in all of its diversity to overseas audiences.

Flag of the U.S. Department of State
TypeGO, part of the U.S. Department of State
PurposeU.S higher education
  • Washington, D.C.
Region served
EducationUSA Tajikistan awarding a certificate to Odinasho Sharopov

The EducationUSA network promotes U.S. higher education to millions of students around the world by offering accurate, comprehensive, and current information about opportunities to study at accredited postsecondary institutions in the United States. EducationUSA also provides services to the U.S. higher education community to help institutional leaders meet their recruitment and campus internationalization goals. EducationUSA centers are located in U.S. embassies and consulates, American Spaces, Fulbright commissions, bi-national centers, universities, and non-profit organizations.


Each year, EducationUSA advisers respond to millions of inquiries from international students. Advisers offer a wide range of in-person and virtual services to students and their families based on Your 5 Steps to U.S. Study, a guide to navigating the U.S. higher education application process. Advisers provide information on a host of topics, including:

  • The admissions process and standardized testing requirements
  • How to finance a U.S. education
  • The student visa process
  • Preparing for departure to the United States

EducationUSA Serves the U.S. Higher Education Community EducationUSA advisers support accredited U.S. institutions’ international student recruitment and internationalization efforts by:

  • Organizing school visits and college fairs, virtual and on location
  • Sharing information about foreign educational systems and scholarship programs
  • Connecting U.S. and foreign educational institutions


EducationUSA's main program is advising international students on U.S. higher education opportunities. This is done through 'Your 5 Steps to U.S. Study'. However, the network also focuses on assisting U.S. higher education representatives to connect with students and is increasingly working to engage more with foreign institutions and governments. Roughly half a million international students enroll in a U.S. institution of higher learning last year. Many seek advice from a regional EducationUSA adviser before, during, and after the application process. Roughly 500+ Advisers are located in advising centers located in 170 countries. Advisers reach out to students, professors, local institutions, and other groups and individuals through individual advising, admissions visits, college fairs, and virtual consulting.

The Open Doors Report, published through the Institute of International Education, is an annual census of international students in the U.S. and U.S. students abroad. EducationUSA funds this and other research on study abroad.

Opportunity Funds Program The EducationUSA Opportunity Funds program assists highly qualified students who are likely to be awarded full financial aid from U.S. colleges and universities, but lack the financial resources to cover the up-front costs to apply, such as testing, application fees, or airfare.

Each Opportunity Funds student undergoes a selective process of evaluation by an EducationUSA adviser, Regional Educational Advising Coordinator (REAC), and the Public Affairs Section of a U.S. Embassy/Consulate. In addition to academic abilities, Opportunity Funds students bring cultural and socio-economic diversity to U.S. campuses. More than 100 colleges and universities have enrolled Opportunity Funds students since 2006.

The Opportunity Funds program is currently available at EducationUSA advising centers in

  • Asia: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka,Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam
  • Europe: Belarus, Bosnia, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine
  • Latin America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela
  • Middle East and North Africa: Egypt, Lebanon
  • Sub-Saharan Africa: Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe

EducationUSA Leadership Institute The EducationUSA Leadership Institutes bring participants from select countries and world regions to the United States to increase their understanding of U.S. higher education, develop the tools necessary to build capacity within their own systems, and engage with the U.S. higher education sector in effective, sustained ways. Groups of Ministry of Education or other government officials, college and university administrators, and other qualified participants will participate in Leadership Institutes focusing on a range of timely and critical topics.

MOOC Camp MOOC Camps are facilitated discussions around massive open online courses (MOOCs), Open Courseware, and other free online courses. They are hosted at U.S. embassies, consulates, American Spaces, and in other public venues around the world. Facilitated discussions are led by alumni who have participated in U.S. government exchange programs, such as the Fulbright program, and/or by U.S. embassy/consulate staff who are familiar with the course materials and volunteer their time. U.S. embassies and consulates in more than 60 countries are currently participating in MOOC Camps with subjects ranging from entrepreneurship and college writing to science and technology. Course content is drawn from major MOOC providers, including Coursera, EdX, and Udacity as well as from multiple Open CourseWare providers.

EducationUSA Training Institutes EducationUSA facilitates several training institutes in the United States for EducationUSA advisers. Each two-week EducationUSA Training Institute comprises a Washington, D.C.-based workshop, with sessions at the U.S. Department of State, and campus-based training. The campus-based training week offers a unique opportunity for U.S. institutions to bring a group of EducationUSA advisers directly to their campuses.

Competitive College Clubs EducationUSA Competitive College Clubs (CCC) are cohort-based advising programs that help the best and brightest students apply to competitive U.S. colleges and universities. CCC advisers work intensively to prepare students for the application process. CCCs are open to students in grades 8-11 who are in the top 10% of their class.

CCC advisers organize student activities, including study groups, intensive SAT and ACT preparation, reading assignments, lectures, and community service projects. Students sign a contract detailing their responsibilities, which include attending all meetings during the school year and summer sessions.

While there are no guarantees that a CCC student will be accepted to a U.S. college or university, this intensive group advising provides extra support for motivated, high-performing students. Some CCC students also qualify for the Opportunity Funds program. EducationUSA advisers also work with CCC students to develop an alternative education plan in case studying in the United States does not work out for them.

U.S. Student Achievers Program (USAP) The EducationUSA Advising Center in Harare, Zimbabwe founded the United States Student Achievers Program (USAP) in 1999. USAP helps youth negotiate the intricate admission and financial aid processes at selective institutions in the United States, while also creating strong cohorts that offer mutual support throughout and beyond the admission process. Run by EducationUSA advisers, USAP has expanded to several countries since 2005. Some USAP students also qualify for the Opportunity Funds program.

USAP participants all have the following four characteristics: academic excellence, demonstrated leadership potential, an ethos of giving back to community, and economic disadvantage.

NeXXt Scholars Initiative The NeXXt Scholars Initiative seeks to engage and advance young women from around the world in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers by preparing the next generation of leaders in science, engineering, and innovation. By partnering with 38 U.S. women's colleges, NeXXt expands opportunities for young women from 47 countries/territories with Muslim-majority populations to obtain a world-class undergraduate STEM education in the United States alongside American students.

To learn more about the NeXXt Scholars Program, please email [email protected] or visit the program website.


 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document: "Education USA".

See also