US universities are completely safe for students: Embassy officials

Donald Heflin, Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs, US Embassy to India told ANI on Tuesday that officials have had a lot of parents asking them questions about the safety of universities in America.
US universities are completely safe for students: Embassy officials
Donald Heflin, Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs, US Embassy to India ANI

NEW DELHI: Responding to concerns over rising gun violence in America, officials of the US embassy in New Delhi said that the universities are completely safe for students.

Donald Heflin, Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs, US Embassy to India told ANI on Tuesday that officials have had a lot of parents asking them questions about the safety of universities in America.

"US universities are generally very safe places. They usually have their own police force and have strong controls on who enters residential or instructional buildings. Unfortunately, most of these events have been happening at primary and secondary schools and it's just tragic," Donald Heflin asserted.

Echoing similar sentiments Counselor for Cultural and Educational Affairs Anthony Miranda said that universities share those same concerns.

"They want to ensure that the students who choose to attend that university are safe so that they can concentrate on their studies and also their extracurricular activities," Miranda said.

Speaking over the provisions in universities for student safety, Miranda said universities have implemented a number of procedures and programs to ensure that their campuses are made safe which include making sure that people always have visible IDs on them.

He further mentioned blue light phone booths.

"These are phone booths that can be scattered throughout a university that connects directly to the police."

"There are also student-led organizations that ensure that there is always someone who could walk you home to also facilitate safety," Miranda elaborated further.

The United States recently witnessed a horrifying mass shooting that occurred at an elementary school in Texas on May 24.

Talking about the Visa issuance for Indian students, Heflin said: "In the end, we'll have opened over 100,000 appointments this year.

The demand is really strong. I'm very hopeful that every student who wants an appointment will be able to get one." "We basically missed the entire year of 2020 due to shutdowns here in India.

And then we got back on our feet at Christmas time that year and had a big student visa season last year. This year is going to be our biggest ever. We have a lot of demand.

So we're trying to answer that by opening a lot of interview slots," the Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs elaborated. US Charge d'Affaires Patricia Lacina, Embassy of the US to India also said: "Indians are the second-largest group of international students in the US.

We've opened tens of thousands of visa appointments and expanded our interview waiver options for students under new visa guidelines." The US Mission in India organized its sixth annual Student Visa Day.

Consular Officers at the US Embassy in New Delhi and Consulates General in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai interviewed more than 2,500 Indian student visa applicants.

Student Visa Day celebrates higher education ties between the United States and India. This year, more than 200,000 Indian students are studying at US academic institutions, representing more than 20 per cent of international students currently in the United States.

The US Mission encourages all students interested in studying in the United States to contact Education USA, the US government-sponsored advising service that offers credible and comprehensive information to help navigate the admission and visa processes. Education USA represents more than 4,000 accredited US colleges and universities with eight advising centres across India.

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