Donald Heflin, Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs at the US Embassy in India, told ANI on June 7, 2022,that officials have received a lot of questions from parents concerning the safety of universities in America. Earlier, on May 24, 2022, the USA experienced a horrible mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas.
Donald Heflin worked hard to persuade Indians that US universities are generally very safe places to study. He also mentioned that universities have their own police force and strict regulations over who is allowed to enter residential or instructional buildings. Unfortunately, the majority of these incidents have occurred at primary and secondary schools, which is tragic.
Expressing the same sentiments, Universities, according to Anthony Miranda, Counselor for Cultural and Educational Affairs, have the same worries. She stated that they want to assure the safety of the students who choose to attend that university so that they may focus on their studies and extracurricular activities.
Miranda, speaking about university provisions for student safety, stated that colleges have adopted a number of procedures and programs to ensure that their campuses are safe, including ensuring that people always have visible IDs on them.
Blue light phone booths were also highlighted by the counsellors. These are phone booths that can be found throughout a university that connects to the police directly. There are also student-led organizations that make sure there is always someone who can walk you home to assure your safety.
In terms of US visa issuing for Indian students, Heflin stated that they have opened over 100,000 appointments this year due to the high demand. He also mentioned that this year would be their busiest ever and that they are attempting to respond by opening a large number of interview slots.
US Charge dAffaires Patricia Lacina, Embassy of the US to India also highlighted that Indians represent the second-largest group of international students in the US. Under new visa guidelines, the embassy has opened thousands of visa appointments and extended interview waiver options for students.
The 6th annual Student Visa Day was held by the US Mission in India. Over 2,500 Indian student visa applications were interviewed by Consular Officers at the US Embassy in New Delhi and Consulates General in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai. Student Visa Day promotes higher education relations between the USA and India. More than 200,000 Indian students are studying at US universities this year, accounting for more than 20% of all international students in the US.
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