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This is the VOA Special English EDUCATION REPORT.
This week in our Foreign Student Series, we discuss the first steps for students interested in higher education in the United States.
One place to go for advice and information about American colleges and universities is an EducationUSA center. More than four hundred of these educational advising centers are located around the world.
The advisers at EducationUSA centers do not charge any money for their services. They help students find schools and get information about financial aid, admissions tests and visa requirements.
The centers are supported by the State Department. You can find the nearest one on the State Department's Web site for international students. The address is educationusa.state.gov. Again, it's educationusa.state.gov.
Another place to get information is at an educational fair. Representatives of American colleges and universities present information and answer questions from students and their parents.
The Institute of International Education has been organizing United States Higher Education Fairs in Asia since nineteen eighty-two. Last year, more than fourteen thousand students attended these fairs in China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam.
The next higher education fairs in Asia are in October. For example, more than seventy colleges and universities will have representatives in Hong Kong on October eleventh.
Other organizations hold similar events in other parts of the world. Information about educational fairs in your country can be found at the same Web site, educationusa.state.gov.
One important piece of advice -- give yourself plenty of time to plan your studies in the United States. Educational advisers say you should begin planning at least two years before you want to start classes.
If you have a question for our series on American higher education, send it to email@example.com. Or use the Contact Us link at voaspecialenglish.com. Make sure to tell us who and where you are. We might answer your question on our program in the weeks ahead.
And that's the VOA Special English EDUCATION REPORT, written by Nancy Steinbach. Transcripts and MP3s of our Foreign Student Series, and a link to the EducationUSA Web site, are at voaspecialenglish.com. I'm Steve Ember.